A few weeks ago, Tim brought home a movie for us all to watch. I had heard the title before but was not too familiar with the story. After he briefly described the basic idea of the film, I was intrigued – I love true or almost-true stories, and often enjoy somewhat dark and gritty films.

I was unprepared for Precious.

I just couldn’t watch some parts, and was really disturbed through most of the film. At the end I felt incredibly depressed and even physically unwell for a few hours. I don’t think it was a bad movie. And it probably wasn’t even the most depressing of stories – I know there’s much worse out there.

I think it was just very overwhelming. To me, the film conveyed more than the story of one girl. It seemed to highlight a whole population of people, particularly children, suffering under abuse, neglect, and a complex framework of issues and systems that virtually cage them inside of an impossible, hopeless life.

It is uncomfortable to be aware that those evils exist, and are a daily reality for far too many people. I’d like to will that information out of my brain, but I can’t. So. What to do. Part of me feels helpless, but a bigger part of me is just afraid to find out how to help, because that would require getting closer. Closer to people and situations that are ugly and messy and that I can’t control.

Jesse and I have discussed caring for foster children in the future. We hope to be able to offer our home and our family as a kind of haven, where those (foster children or friends or whomever) in various states of need can be tangibly nurtured, loved, protected, supported. But in many ways, we’re not there yet, and we don’t know what the future holds.

In the short term, I honestly doubt much will change in my life. I can pray for people, but I don’t think I’ll be seeking out any new opportunities to reach out and get more involved with the neediest and most damaged people in my city. It doesn’t seem like the right season for that, but is that just an excuse? I don’t know.

For now, I feel renewed motivation to work toward creating a welcoming home and learning how to be hospitable on all levels, as a person. That sounds vague, although it is more real and has more depth and substance in my understanding of it - I just haven't communicated what I mean by welcoming and hospitable very well here today. Maybe it isn't enough, and maybe I'm deciding based on practicality and apprehension more than courageous love. But I do hope, by keeping these realities in my mind and heart, and by starting to learn to better serve my friends and family with true humility and love and grace, and by creating a home and a family culture that can accommodate inclusion and expansion, that we will be better able to respond to opportunities and callings to serve more boldly and farther outside of our comfort range than we do now. Someday.


Anonymous said…
you humble me
you leave me wordless

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