A Hollywood story involves the legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock and one of his favorite leading ladies, Grace Kelly.
Kelly had turned down the chance to star alongside Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront to play opposite Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock’s 1954 suspense classic, Rear Window. (Eva Saint Marie replaced Kelly.) Kelly and Hitchcock got along famously. But Kelly later recalled in an interview, a minor snag developed on the set regarding Kelly’s wardrobe.
She said, “At the rehearsal for the scene in Rear Window when I wore a sheer nightgown, Hitchcock called for [costume designer] Edith Head. He came over here and said, ‘Look, the bosom is not right, we’re going to have to put something in there.’ He was very sweet about it; he didn’t want to upset me, so he spoke quietly to Edith. We went into my dressing room and Edith said, ‘Mr. Hitchcock is worried because there’s a false pleat here. He wants me to put in falsies.’
“‘Well,” I said, ‘You can’t put falsies in this, it’s going to show—and I’m not going to wear them.’” And she said, ‘What are we going to do?’ So we quickly took it up here, made some adjustments there, and I just did what I could and stood as straight as possible — without falsies. When I walked out onto the set Hitchcock looked at me and at Edith and said, ‘See what a difference they make?’”
All too often we see and hear what we want to hear and see. (And, aren’t we’re always right!)
The gospel is about sin but the solution of sin is what?
The root of sin is about tainted eyes that don’t see clearly and lots of wasted words on wax-ladened ears that can no longer hear. (If I was an Alexian Village today, I’d have fun talking about poor eyesight and deafness.)
When you and I are having a serious conversation especially a political one; while you’re still speaking I’m working on my response. (I do that all the time.) Or while I’m composing my reply in my head, you say something at the end that I agree with. (Now what do I say?!)
Are our eyes wide open to see our differences and seek a common vision? Are these two organs on both sides of our noses wide enough to clearly see God’s message in action, a message that’s often hidden but staring us both into our eyes? (And, God’s message may be completely different than our differing, petty, personal views!)
Are those appendages we call ears on both sides of our faces open enough to hear
—a child’s plea
—the unheard feelings behind her heard sentences
—that “inner voice” that says we’re wrong but we do it anyway
—the whisperings of someone’s grief even when there’s nothing you can do about it but offer up a silent prayer
—that annoyingly noisy silence in the evening which invites personal reflection but we try to escape it through television, alcohol/drugs, some stupid video game, or telling the world on Facebook what we did today
“Wide Open” our eyes and ears need to be throughout the year but especially sensitive to them during Lent.
The youngest of Papa Jesse’s lot, chosen to be the King of Israel: (is not the smartest or oldest nor the one who raised her hand the most in grade school) was David: “ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance.” For all of David’s profound sinfulness he eventually found redemption by listening more and seeing better the greatness of God, God’s immense forgiveness, David’s place within God’s Kingdom and how David could make that Kingdom real here and now – in his personal life, in his profession, among his friends and reinforced in his thoughts and expressed through his deeds.
Well during this sacred six weeks of Lent and throughout the year; from this man standing before you today: “ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance” to all of you –
—keep rubbing those eyes searching for the eyes of God
—and keep cleaning out that wax because God is truly speaking and listening along with us.