I’ve had a crush on Ben Affleck since 1998.
Maybe it was Chasing Amy or Armageddon that captured my heart. In any case, I’ve adored Ben since then.
I’ve seen the ups and downs of his career. He captured the Oscar for best screenplay in 1998. Who remembers this great Oscar acceptance speech with Matt Damon?
Dogma is one of my favorite theological movies. Scenes like this from Ben, while expressive in explicit language (NSFW), give great lamentation and expression on free will and forgiveness.
Then came the years of Gigli and other blockbuster flops. His life became tabloid fodder. Ben’s existence was in a fishbowl.
With a series of career mishaps and personal life failures, Ben’s career seemed close to over.
Yet, in life there are second chances and resurrections. And Ben’s second act was just starting.
First there was the brilliant performance in Hollywoodland. Critics were surprised by his performance, but it was easy to tell that his focus was switching to smaller, quality roles (rather than feature roles in blockbusters). Gone Baby Bone was the spark of Ben’s creativity in directing. Then came The Town. This weekend, Argo is released throughout the country, and Oscar buzz is already surrounding the film and direction.
Ben’s work now seems authentic to who he is. On top of all of this, he seems like he is in a healthy relationship with much less paparazzi interruption, and Ben is dedicated to his work with the Congo.
Actual resurrection is hard to see sometimes. The beautiful metaphor of Easter seems so far away – two thousand years to be exact. Yet in each of our lives, we experience resurrection. God is the God of second chances. And thanks to the public life of Ben Affleck, we can see that multiple failures do not mean a life that’s over. It means that there’s a chance for resurrection to happen, for the Holy Spirit to work and for inspiration surround us with creative new beginnings.
Ben turned 40 in August. My 40th birthday is exactly six months away. Thanks to Ben, his persistence and creativity, act two looks more promising than act one, and I can anticipate the same for mine as well.