Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's a Wonderful Life

This blog is probably for me more than anyone else. But for those who knew Dirk, particularly his children, this blog is for you too.

This Christmas I decided to watch It's A Wonderful Life. This was Dirk's favorite movie and he watched it every, single Christmas. In fact he had most all of it memorized. So, this year I decided to watch it and see what it was about this movie that meant so much to him. It really wasn't hard to do. Everything in it reminds me of Him.

First, this is a love story. Dirk is Jimmy Stewart. I guess that makes me Donna Reed. I think in any story, you place yourself in it. There is much about George Bailey that parallels Dirk.

Dirk prided himself on his humor. He really thought of himself as a funny guy as does George Bailey. Dirk loved to laugh at all the corny humor in the movie, including this scene, where Mary is hiding in the bushes and loses her robe. He also called Mary "brainless" when she was a child.

Dirk loved George Bailey, his faults and his strengths. George was very passionate about life. He, so much wanted to leave his hometown to see the world, but his sense of duty and loyalty to his family kept him there running the family business. You always felt so bad for George, when it looked like he was just about ready to leave town, and then some crisis would cause him to remain home. He was always quick to give the shirt off his back to one in need, but sometimes a little frustrated about how the person had gotten themselves in the mess in the first place. This makes me think of one of Dirk's favorite sayings, "No good deed goes unpunished". George was often quick to lose his temper or patience. But he always felt bad afterwards. He was tempted by the power and wealth that Potter offered him, but in the end George saw through it and chose the higher road.

The real point of this movie is the value of relationships. George Bailey, thought the world would have been better had he not been born. But through his experiences with Clarence, the angel, he comes to see all the good he had done in his life. It was all the little things that really did matter. George had lived a good life and been very influential in the lives of many others.

I think the most moving scene in the movie is near the end. George is probably going to jail for Uncle Billy's misdeed. Through the efforts of his wife and friends, money is collected to cover the debt. I have to admit that I sometimes get teary-eyed (Dirk, always got teary-eyed!) during this scene as many, many people come to donate their money. They all loved George and wanted to help him out.

This last scene makes me think of Dirk. Family meant everything to him. And he always had an eye heaven-ward.

Towards the end of his mortal life, I cannot tell you how many phone calls and letters came to Dirk with expressions of love and support. What a blessing that he was able to enjoy this display of friendship from so many. He heard from childhood friends, mission companions, law school classmates, work colleagues, church friends from all over and of course his own family.

He died knowing that he had loved so many, and that he was loved back. We all miss him! He indeed was the "richest man in town"!