Oh Hunger Games

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Friday night a dear friend took me to see Hunger Games.  Sunday morning another dear friend loaned me the book series.  This morning I finished the final book, Mockingjay.

I immediately began to miss the characters. That’s my personal measure of a writer’s gift: whether or not I miss the story when it comes to an end.  Suzanne Collins, I’m a fan.

(Spoiler alert: I’m about to talk about the characters in the books…)

Is it just me, or does anyone else relate to the way Katniss struggles to connect with people and make friends? The way she can’t see a good thing for a good thing?  They way she over-thinks and self-depreciates?  The way her inner warrior is her greatest strength?  The way her regrets and failings haunt her?  Love her character.

And how could I not love Haymitch and Finnick?  And Prim.  Boggs, Beetee, Cinna, Effie, and… everyone.  And of course, Gale and Peeta.  Such great characters!

All these fabulous characters has me thinking about the people in my life.  The mix of personalities, giftings and passions that influence my life and make me a better version of myself.

Mentors, advisors, friends…  so many wonderful people in my life.  I want to list names but it would be a ridiculously long list.  God has filled my life with such a special community.  So grateful.

The character I love the most is Peeta. His “goodness” and comfort were so familiar. Don’t get me wrong, I love how Gale is an equal for Katniss.  I love how he spurs her on.  He infuses her with strength and valor. But Peeta brings something “other” to Katniss’ life.  He is not like her. He brings her balance and rest.

I have a Peeta.  A person who is not like me and fills my life with balance and rest.  My husband is the most amazing person I’ve ever known.  I couldn’t help but think of him as I read about kind, gentle, steady, faithful, uniquely powerful Peeta.

My husband has, once again, been a rock and comfort this week as I wrestled with the diagnosis and treatment plan.  He is one of the most genuinely “good” people I know.  The beauty of his “goodness” is he has worked hard to develop it.  He has chosen to walk in a way that I don’t see many chose.  He is fast to identify any selfishness and pursues God’s freedom from it.  He is slow to judge and never speaks a hurtful word.  He makes everything better.  Whatever he touches, wherever he goes, whatever he says brings life.  I don’t like to do things without him, because with him things are so much better.  People love him.  They want him to be on their team.  They want to be on his team.

Ok… I’ll stop.  I could go on and on.  Clearly I’m enamoured.

But who he is today was not who he always was.  I remember him limping in life.  I remember him struggling to know his identity and walking in it.  I remember the stories of pain that were keeping him bound up.

Over the 13 years of our marriage, I’ve watch God transform him.  I watched as my husband chose to believe God’s Word about who he is.  I watched him put aside lies, cut off the past pain and move into today.  He is my hero in so many ways.  The work of the Holy Spirit in him and through him is so very good.  He seems to be bursting with the Fruit of the Spirit.  He is no longer who he was.  And I love watching how his life cuts a path for me, our children, and others to follow.

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

How about you? What beauty do you see in the people God has surrounded you with?  Stop and consider them… do you see the gifts they are to you?  Do you see anyone that seems to burst with the Fruit of the Spirit? 

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