Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Skin Game

A Skin Game, according to an online definition, is a dirty game that is characterized by ruthlessness.

Alfred Hitchcock movies have been an entertainment staple since before Bill and I married. We consummated our love for this outstanding director, producer, and occasional cameo actor over Vertigo, with James Stewart and Kim Novak to lead the way. From that day forward we have indulged our penchant for suspense, intrigue, and mystery via stories such as Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, and many others.

As we selected The Skin Game, then, we expected something far different that what we were dished up. Much like anticipating the taste of a well crafted wine but experiencing something very peculiar, The Skin Game unfolded with quaint scenery of English countrysides and accompanying orchestration. Bill and I snuggled under a woven blanket and I rested my head on his shoulder. As the movie continued I found myself tense and disconcerted and Bill was sitting up straighter, too. By the movie's end, we were both quiet, very still, and solemn.

Something about all of the characters made it impossible to despise any of them, outright, but there wasn't a single one who showed ample virtue to stand out enough above any others. All were selfish, proud, and deceitful, hurting whomever they needed to get what they wanted. In the end there were no winners, none with any redeeming changes. All was lost.

Clearly, we saw the law of sowing and reaping, albeit played out dramatically. But it left both of us to, firstly, decide to take a break from Hitchcock's theatrical fare, then to discuss who at the end was closer to salvation. It causes me to consider as well, how do any of us get close enough to see the light of Truth, the hear the voice of Love, to feel the hand of Grace. Without God's Holy Spirit to bring us to His mercy there is no hope of forgiveness and we are all trapped in our own Skin Game.


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