Amid all the messages and info that daily rain down on us, it’s the personal ones that catch our attention isn’t it? A smile, kind message, happy face emoji… we love those connections. If my heart’s touched, I’m sold. I might even do something in response.
This week I was moved by this kind of connection in the Joseph story – “any dream will do”, amazing technicolor coat guy. In particular, the story’s climax. All there in Genesis. Then a little bizarrely, I spotted a strong connection with the Interstellar film of three years ago, that I saw in the ‘Rewind Wednesday’ strand at Bradford’s Science & Media museum. Yes, connection between a story in an ancient book viewed by some as belonging to the stone age, and a contemporary film exploring mind-boggling dimensions of space, time and relativity. Somewhat unexpected.
But it’s there – the theme of reunion, being re-connected with someone loved but long-lost. In the Joseph story, having been sold as a slave to Egypt by his jealous brothers, separated from them for years – during which after dire setbacks he rises to power – after all this, he sees them again when they seek food in a famine. His instant recognition of them, paralleling their failure to recognise him – and the subsequent tests showing they’ve moved from selfishness to self-sacrifice… all make the moment where his true identity is revealed, and the subsequent reunion – both poignant and powerful.
In ‘Interstellar’, space travel makes separation – of both distance & time – between astronaut Cooper and his two children far vaster. He’d left his young daughter tragically unreconciled to the prospect of his departure, so when a video message reaches him (light years away) showing her, as an adult (aged far faster than him due to relativity effects) trying to communicate with him – it’s inevitably a tear-jerker.
One story set in the ancient middle east, one in the future in deep space – connected by the common theme of reunion between people tied by bonds of kinship and love (though tarnished). Greatest journey of all – the journey of the human heart.
The Joseph story discerns an additional dimension to the course of events – that this joyous reunion, like a rare conjunction of planets, has at a profound level been orchestrated by underlying benevolent wisdom – the guiding hand of God for the purpose of saving lives. There’s an aching beauty in the narrative arc from pain to joy, or indeed in the delicate amalgam between the two… that whispers of a more wondrous reality lying beneath and beyond.
As in our different ways we enjoy our own heart connections… can we also be open to the whisper of the divine longing for the greatest reunion – with my heart and yours?