Lovers are haunted by it. Soldiers depend on it. Families are formed with it. Babies die without it. Adolescents ache for it. Friendships are born because of it. It is the thing we spend our lives hoping for, searching for, arranging for. Even a minute’s taste of it is worth months of seeking. What is it? It is the bond. We all sense from our earliest moments that connection is life. To be left alone, abandoned, is death, a terrifying thought. It’s just not an option. We find someone, something to attach to. And in that attachment, we find not just love but a sense of meaning. We learn that we matter, that our lives are not just a zero, that we impact those around us in profound ways.
This was brought home to me today as I prepared to teach my Sunday School class on this very topic. I often use movie clips to draw the class in. How was I going to do it here with this one? How was I going to show the massive importance of bonding to others and knowing our impact on them? And then it struck me early this morning, a movie that I have seen perhaps a dozen times. It is listed by the American Film Institute as the Number One Inspirational Movie of all time. We watch it every Christmas as a family. You may also.
I put it in to find a clip, and as I got to the scene below, I could feel it strike that deep place in me, the place that longs to impact others. I could even feel the tears start to come. And then I remembered a well-known screen star being interviewed about this movie. She said that she watches it every year and weeps each time.
Perhaps you know the movie by now. “It’s A Wonderful Life.” For the miracle of the movie is that George Bailey gets to see the impact he has made. And each time we watch it, we long for that to be true in our lives.
As we watched this scene in class today, nobody wanted me to turn it off and go to the lesson, even though they had all seen it countless times. It’s the power of the bond, the power of connecting to others. And here’s the real miracle. Our deepest impact is not on others. It’s on God himself.