Let me start by making one thing clear; I know nothing about movies. I’m not “a movie guy” by any means. In fact, I’d venture to say that since the year 2001 (the year I got married), I can count the number of times I’ve gone to a movie theater on one hand. Shocking isn’t it?
The bottom line is this: I don’t know anything about movies nor do I care to.
But I do know about life. And I know when a movie (or a book or a sermon or a whatever) hits me in such a way that makes me ask myself what life is all about and what am I/we doing with the lives that we’ve been given. This past Friday was one of those times.
The movie is called THE BLIND SIDE and it hit the big screen back in 2009. And yes, I just saw it this past Friday (I told you I’m not a movie guy). My wife and I have wanted to see the movie for years but never could get ourselves to spend the $3.99 to rent it [don’t tell this to anyone but sometimes my wife can be a little on the ‘thrifty’ side :) ].
But we sent the kids to the grandparents this weekend and we found a way to rent the movie for 99¢, so we decided to splurge!
So we rented The Blind Side on Friday night. And it’s now Wednesday morning and I can’t stop thinking about it.
In case you’ve never seen the movie, it’s the true story of an upper middle class white family in Tennessee that adopts a homeless African American teenage boy. The boy’s name is Michael Oher and he turns out to be a very talented football player who ends up playing in the NFL and is currently a member of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
But I’m not here to talk about the movie or make any political statements about anything. I want to talk about life and why this movie touched me so much.
Two thoughts have been running through my head since watching this movie
Thought #1: LIFE ISN'T FAIR
You knew this already right? You always complain that your life isn’t fair and the way you’re treated isn’t fair. Well, I’m here to tell you that you are 100% right. Life isn’t fair. I’ve been treated unfairly and my guess is that most of the people reading this blog have been treated unfairly as well.
It isn’t fair that we’ve been given so much and so many are living with so little. It isn’t fair that I was born into a family that loved me and nurtured me and gave me everything I need to be successful in life (physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually) while so many others – through no fault or doing of their own – are left to basically figure it out themselves.
How is it fair that a young child – like Michael Oher or the tens of thousands of other children around the country in similar circumstances – would be born into a household where his mom is unemployed? And his dad has disappeared? Is that fair? Even worse, the mom is not only unemployed but addicted to cocaine and selling herself as a prostitute in order to find money to feed her 11 children.
Is that fair? Is that child being given a fair chance to grow up healthy? What did he do to deserve that? Is he somehow worse than me? Do I deserve better than him for some reason?
When I hear stories like this, it breaks my heart. And I hope it breaks your heart too. There’s nothing about you or me that’s inherently better than that child. That could easily be our story if it weren’t for some divine providence that we had nothing to do with. You had nothing to do with the circumstances you were born into and neither does that child born on the streets.
It’s time that we realize that life isn’t fair. Not fair at all. You and I have been blessed with way way more than so many others. AND THAT ISN’T FAIR.
Thought #2: nothing is more SATISFYING and FULFILLING and REWARDING and GRATIFYING and [insert whatever adjective you want out of life] than helping to fix this unfairness.
There’s a great line in the movie where someone says to the lady: “You’re really changing that boy’s life.” She profoundly replies, “No, he’s really changing mine.”
I don't know what I'm asking you to do. Or rather, I don't know what God is asking you to do. For some of you, He may be calling you to adopt a child and change the future for someone who has been treated unfairly. For others, He may be calling you to somehow help in the foster care system and make a difference by helping to rehabilitate parents who need it.
Others of you, He might just be calling to change the way you think. I can't imagine what I'd be like if I was homeless and didn't know where my next meal would come from and neither can you! So stop being so judgmental and harsh on "those kids" and realize that everyone just needs a break. That's all. They just need someone to give them a break.
You and I are lucky (even though I don't believe in luck); we were given a break at birth. We ended up in environments that helped us become who/what we are today. But realize that you did nothing to deserve that just like kids born on the streets did nothing to deserve that either. It's time to start doing something about
In Matthew 25, when speaking about Judgment Day and what the criteria for that day would be, Jesus said that the basis of our judgment would be a lot more than what we professed with our mouth.
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’" (Matthew 25:31-40)
It's time we stop preaching the Bible and start living it.
Food for thought: what can you do about the unfairness in life?