Following a freak accident Adaline Bowman stops aging. Her body becomes stuck in time, and she will remain the same age -29 – for ever. The years pass and those around her grow old and die. To avoid her secret being exposed Adaline keeps moving on, living a solitary life and never forming lasting relationships. However, when love threatens to spoil all that she has an encounter with an old flame from decades past.
This is Adaline’s constant fear, that others will unmask her, and will discover her true self.
I am in many ways a loner, a reserved, private person, and it often feels risky and costly to form new relationships. Maybe many of us are like this. We may not have Adaline’s strange condition, but other things affect our ability to remain open to others. Just this week a friend coined a phrase which set me thinking. He said, ‘When we meet others we meet ourselves.’ We learn more about our true selves as we relate to other people.
The ‘problem’ with following Jesus is that it is not about flying solo. We do it as part of a group of people, a group of misfits. And we can’t choose our travelling companions. Plus Jesus is often in the business of unmasking those he meets, in order to set them free. When he visited a Pharisee’s home (see Luke 7 v 36) Jesus unmasked two people – the hard hearted Pharisee, who was seeking to embarrass him, and the generous woman who was looking to rescue him. As they encountered Jesus, they encountered themselves.