Thursday, July 08 2010
Recently I saw the movie Letters to Juliet. I liked it so much I saw it a second time. The more I have reflected on it the more my heart has been touched.
In the film Vanessa Redgrave plays the part of a beautiful Englishwoman named Claire Smith. In her youth she had met and fallen in love with a handsome Italian, Lorenzo Bartolini. Fearful of what her parents would say and knowing what she "ought" to do she returned to England and lived the life duty required of her.
Now elderly she has come back to Italy to look for Lorenzo and to explain to him why she did not meet him. The whole film is this journey of looking for Lorenzo.....and there are a lot of Lorenzo Bartolinis! Each door she knocks on is humorous until the last one. This Lorenzo is in the grave and that is when Claire follows her grandson's advice and stops looking.
But a funny thing happens. She sees a sign for a vineyard and suggests to her new friend Sophie and her grandson that they stop for one last glass of wine before they part ways. And wouldn't you know it she sees her Lorenzo, oh not the one she knew years before but his grandson. As she makes the connection the real Lorenzo Bartolini rides majestically in on his horse!
True love wins. Claire and Lorenzo have a storybook wedding, followed by a beautiful marriage supper. The audience breathes a collective sigh for there is something so touching about "finding your first love".
So what is the heart lesson? Claire chose the world and people's expectations over her heart and her first love. So do we. When she finally goes looking for him she knocks on a lot of doors. I have too. Maybe this will be the place I'll find life, maybe the next door will open, and ......you fill in the blank. When Claire finally comes to the end, to death so to speak and stops all of her trying she is led into the vineyard. And guess who owns the vineyard?
The beautiful scene of Lorenzo coming up on horseback and seeing his lost love is a picture of just how the Lord comes for us. When we get to the end of all our trying, when we resign ourselves to the death of all our own arranging we shouldn't be surprised that we are led into the vineyard. For death is always followed by resurrection and that is what you are seeing at the end of the movie. Is it any wonder the film concludes with a marriage supper?