I love my friend Irwin (not his real name), however it took me a while to enjoy his company. Irwin is dramatic. Someone has always wronged him, or something fabulous is always happening to him, so that if you get him going, you will need to spend a while, maybe reschedule some stuff.
The drama used to annoy me. I would feel a prisoner. It became hard to feign interest. It was too much emotion, too often. Eventually I learned this is just who Irwin is, and I appreciate him, and I can experience it without being drawn in, and without being overwhelmed by the desire to escape. I learned to let Irwin be Irwin, hear the drama, be his friend, but not let his drama become my drama. It takes all sorts to make a world.
My friend may be an extreme, but the reality is drama is an important part of our life. I may have a calmer life than Irwin, but it has its share of upheaval, injustice, and delight. There are events that move me deeply with sadness, with joy, with confusion, with a whole myriad of emotions. This is life, and I have spent decades trying to unravel the meaning and significance of some of it. Drama demands attention, propels us to reflection.
This Sunday is a day of drama. The fickle crowd welcomes Jesus because they think he will expel the Romans from Judea. However, when they learn he is non-violent, they themselves cry out for his brutal execution at the hands of the very Romans they despise. Then imagine a few days later women say Jesus’ body is gone and he is raised from the dead. This is drama. This series of events is so pregnant with significance that we have been reenacting it, pondering it, talking about it, for almost two thousand years.
We may not like the extremes in emotion, but the dramatic events of our lives point to the depth of our being. They propel us to find meaning in our losses, our loves, our wonders. This is why symbol, myth, legend, story and yes, drama, assist to explore that meaning. Drama is an important tool in exposing our souls, and discovering our depth. ~Father John