I was so moved by the documentary “Twinsters” I needed to tell you about it. “Twinsters” is the story of two identical twins who were born together in South Korea but quickly separated and adopted by parents in different countries, and how they find each other through the internet. Samantha Futerman, the twin protaganista and director of the documentary is an actress who lives in L.A. Anaïs Brodier, her twin sister who was raised in France but moved to London to study fashion, heard from a friend about a woman on YouTube who looked exactly like her.
Anaïs reached out to Samantha on Facebook and the love story was off to the races. They meet and make a connection that is beautiful. I was watching this documentary on my weekend away. It was the second movie Of the day. I was certain I would fall asleep, but the story was so engaging and the connection between these two women was so real, not only did I stay awake for the whole movie, shedding a few tears of joy, but I stayed up afterward to read more about what the two sisters were up to since the end of the film’s timeline.
It might be that I am a twin and I am very soft to the premise of the story–my heart was pre-warmed so to speak–but I also saw a great parable of God’s redemption project in their reunion and subsequent relating. I’ll tell it Jesus style:
How shall I describe the Kingdom of God? A certain woman was adopted by parents who loved her well and provided for her in a way that her birth mother couldn’t. The woman, though she was successful, had a longing in her that she could not explain, a dislocation deep inside of her. This feeling is common among adopted children, so I’m told. They often have what feels like a built in longing for connection to their roots, to the blood from which they were brought into being and fed in utero. That unresolved dislocation must often be appropriated when birth parents cannot be found or do not want for whatever reason to connect with their birth children. This certain woman had all of those feelings, which influenced her personhood in good and bad ways. And then she found her Twin on YouTube and they got to meet and even craft a life together. The pain of separation from their mother was still real but they had each other. Their thirst for blood family was satisfied. Such is the one who finds the Kingdom of God. Even if that longing for connection with some unknown parent was untouched or unseen it is born in every heart because you are born of God.
I have always loved the playful and at the same time sorrowful deconstruction of God as Father in Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “Unde meine seele ein wieb vor dir” from “The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God”
His tenderness burdens us like an incubus,
his voice weighs on us like a stone–we mean
to wait for his words to come and wish to listen
but hear only half, and fail to understand them,
for all that background drama from the past
makes such a shrill clamour in our ears;
we notice his lips, their shape, dropping
syllables that fall by the wayside. So
we are estranged, further than far apart,
even if love still loosely knots our lives;
only when death takes him do we grasp
that here, on our own star, he had thrived.
So do we see a father. And–am I
to call you father?
Though it would sever us irretrievably?
Rather my son. I shall acknowledge you
just as one does an only beloved son
when he is a man, even an old man.
Rilke projects his relationship with his father, and what he imagines is a common relationship between children and their fathers, onto his relationship with God. I don’t know if I let as many of my own father’s syllables fall by the wayside as did Rilke, but I do understand the inadequacy of our language about God and a longing to express the deep way God quenches our thirst for mutuality.
When I watched “Twinsters” I found a variation on that theme. God is like a long lost twin. Not that I am identical with God, but my innate sense of dislocation is satisfied so completely in Him. And in Jesus we are being made like him. Perhaps Jesus will be my twin. John said in 1 John 3:2 “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” and Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” Jesus came to fully identify with us–from our dislocation to our satisfaction–from our alienation to our finding a connection like a home deeper than the home we’ve known. We will see Jesus like Samantha saw Anaïs. If you watch the movie I hope you can see Jesus in it.
My prayer is:
Jesus, my brother,
my twin brother,
you have found me,
and I am found by you.