It takes a rare movie to make me cry. My internal cynic keeps the tears under tight lock and key, guarded from exposure unless a story skillfully negotiates their release. I’m a shrewd jail-keeper, however, so this seldom happens.

Which is why I am still appalled over my complete emotional breakdown last week while watching P.S. I Love You. Not only did I weep like a Tara-less Scarlett O’Hara, I did so before the beginning credits even began to roll. What is up with THAT? I knew ahead of time it was a shameless chick-flick, for heaven’s sakes. A two-hour attempt to manipulate my feminine emotions. And, yet, from the first note of the soundtrack, I was a goner. The initial scene so completely sucked me into it’s web that my heart remained inescapably entangled and anguished until the very end. Unbelievable.

Which is why, as I sit on South African Airlines Flight Number 208 sweeping the cabin of 317 other passengers, I can tell you EXACTLY who is watching P.S. I Love You on their private little back-of-the-chair movie screen. Peppered throughout the cabin are women unabashedly crying, tears falling like swollen rivers down faces, leftover dinner napkins used–ineffectively, I might add–as tissues to mop up the overflow. I am vindicated.

Though I don’t really enjoy crying–alone or in public–shouldn’t some stories warrant a response? Crazy, but this is what I’m thinking about as I watch grown adults weep without restraint at 3:10 in the morning. I’m sure the next couple weeks will be packed with compelling stories, far more real than a Hollywood movie. And, for once, I don’t want to keep my emotions under tight lock and key. I want to let go of restraint and emotional guards. I want to find myself so pulled into the lives of the people around me that my heart can’t help but be inescapably intertwined.

Now that I think about it, that is exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t keep his heart under wraps–not for a second. Instead, he poured out everything, even his very life, in the hopes he would become forever intertwined in the threads of their story.

Now that’s something worth crying about.

Africa Team