**oldie but goodie: first published 12/10**
What is it about this movie? Why do I love it so much? A friend was asking me and it gave me a good chance to think about it.
I can’t even tell you how my heart flip flops every time that opening bell comes on, the orchestral Buffalo Gals music starts,
and the book pages start turning (by the way, how fabulous is this sleighride print?? I want a big poster of it! I wonder who has it now….)
But I think we can all see ourselves in George Bailey, in one way or another…
When he is telling his Dad: “I couldn't face being cooped up for the rest of my life in a shabby little office...Oh, I'm sorry Pop, I didn't mean that, but this business of nickels and dimes and spending all your life trying to figure out how to save three cents on a length of pipe...I'd go crazy. I want to do something big and something important.”
And later that night, telling Mary about all of his big hopes and dreams as they throw rocks at the old Granville house (320 sycamore!)
And watching those big dreams fade away as he stays at the Building & Loan and his brother goes to college and then off to work in Buffalo…I think his eyes say everything here as he hears the train whistle… Not even getting to go on a honeymoon with his wife, as the Building and Loan faces crisis. He turns to a picture of his father on the wall, and I love the quote underneath it: “All you can take with you is that which you have given away.” Turning down a huge job (and saving the Building and Loan in the process) from Mr. Potter, coming home wondering why on earth Mary married him:
The sting of watching Sam Wainwright drive away to Florida in a fancy new car:
and then walking back to his own beat up old car
and kicking the door
His fervent prayer when he has reached a breaking point when he can’t find the $8,000 Uncle Billy lost.
“God….Oh, God…Dear Father in Heaven, I’m not a praying man, but if you’re up there, and you can hear me, show me the way. I’m at the end of my rope. I….show me the way God….” (click here for more background on this prayer!)
And then he receives an amazing gift from Clarence, his guardian angel: the ability to see what the world would be without him.
"George Bailey's life is wonderful because over the years he makes choices of sacrifice that benefit others, and the gift given by the angel Clarence is one of perspective. Often we overlook the many good things in our life that still outweigh the singular difficult trial we might be going through."
So, why do *I* love It’s a Wonderful Life?
Because we’ve all been there at one point or another…wondering where our life is going, seeing dreams not fulfilled, reaching a breaking point and praying with all of our heart “show me the way,” or having special moments when we really realize what we have. I know that sometimes when we pray, it seems we get a busted lip in an answer to a prayer, but I know God hears them and sometimes the answers come in ways we are least expecting or wanting (like Clarence, the oddball guardian angel). Turn your troubles to Him, and pray to see the blessings you have in your life….and for heavens sake, go watch It’s a Wonderful Life.
I love hearing what others love about this movie…what have you taken away from IAWL?