One of the things we hope to accomplish in our recently completed movie series is to give you a fresh lens through which to view the culture around you. With that lens still being so fresh, I took my daughter to see the “Finding Dory” movie. The movie probably should have been called “Finding Dory’s Parents” but I guess that title is less catchy. Dory has a moment when she has an awakening that her parents are out there somewhere as memories start breaking through the barrier of her short-term memory problems. She goes on a journey to find a place called home that is still fragmented and vague in her memory, but she knows exists. Like most of us, she is drawn to the idea of finding “home.” For most of us in DC, we are from somewhere else. We moved to the city to start careers or to find new opportunities. We left behind a place called home, but the truth is that home is never quite home again. Time begins to alter the relationships and familiar surroundings we once called home. In many ways, we all long for home but in reality home is an illusive idea.
It was toward the end of the movie that I felt God’s Spirit nudging me. As Dory finally neared home she began to encounter a path of seashells. She remembered when she was younger that her mother would lay out paths of shells in case Dory got lost and forgot how to get home. As the camera panned out, we realized that in fact her parents had made a vast network of shell paths that all converged on one place – home. Immediately we knew that Dory’s parents had spent years in trying to bring their daughter home. The level of intentionality was very moving.
In that scene I saw a picture of God. The God who stands on the porch and actively waits for his children to come home. The God who sent his son to mark out a path towards home. The God who even now is laying a network of paths through his spirit that each of us will intersect with at key points in our lives. When you encounter the paths home, I hope that there is enough latent memory of your Creator to understand that he longs for you to come home. Follow the path and you will find he’s there waiting for you – fresh from his work of laying out new paths for you to find.