Brigadoon–the mythical Scottish society that appears for one day every 100 years. An ideal idyll–if only you believe in miracles.
A wise character explains the existence of the elusive village as a miracle.
“[M]ost folks dinna believe in miracles. Miracles require faith, and faith seems to be . . . dead. . .”
So most people miss the miracle of Brigadoon.
But the miracle didn’t completely cut the village off from the world. People could visit this place, albeit only every 100 years. And they could stay if they found someone to truly love.
Two men on a hunting trip stumble upon the bridge to Brigadoon. Jeff has no faith. Tommy, however, falls in love. He decides to stay.
But Jeff’s unbelief sows doubt in Tommy’s mind, so the two head home. Yet once he’s back in the real world, Tommy continually hears the call of the Scottish songs.
He delivers a striking line: “Why do people have to lose things to find out what they really mean?”
Brigadoon’s long nights and infrequent days come through a miracle that had been intended to protect the community from an outward threat.
But internal threats can endanger a community too. And overcoming that kind of threat requires people to look beyond themselves and their own desires.
One character represents that internal threat. He has nothing he wants–especially his love, who marries someone else.
When his anger threatens the community, the people work to ensure the safety of the village. This character’s selfishness could cost the people their very existence.
Brigadoon reminds me of the Church. We don’t appear only one day in 100 years and sleep the rest of the time–although some may attempt that argument. Sometimes our selfishness is costly–to ourselves and others.
But we can be a place for people to find love and faith. A place for the selfish to lay down everything they care about and pick up all they ever yearned to embrace.
To end our selfishness. To be the place of sacrifice, faith, love, and miracles.
To be the place to listen to the hurts of the world.
“Sometimes, in my sleep, I think I hear voices. . . voices filled with fearful longing. And I think I’m hearing the outside world drownin’ — drownin’ in its centuries.”
We can offer such a place–the respite of a true Brigadoon.