It’s been forever since I’ve posted. this year has been a bad one for me to keep up on the blog. Last night, Elizabeth & I went with my brother & sis-in-law to see the Blind Side. It’s a story about a kid – Michael Oher (pronounced Oar) – who grew up in Memphis, was admitted (somehow) to Briarcrest Christian School, and became a part of a not-so-conventional family of well-to-do pale faces on the East side of Memphis.
The story is all about Michael’s redemption, and REALLY about the redemption of the Touhy family; a white family who has compassion for him when they see him walking the streets without a place to go when it’s raining and cold outside. Michael’s mother was a drug addict, and he was raised to this point in his life in the downtown projects (Hurt) in Memphis.
Citing their Christian duty, the mother of the white family (played by Sandra Bullock) convinces the husband (played by Tim McGraw) and kids that they have no choice but to love and care for this kid. He was after all, 6’6″ – about 320, and with the heart of a puppy dog. They take in Michael, and gain custody of him through the state. He leads Briarcrest (Wingate in the movie) to the playoffs and acquires a scholarship at Ole Miss.
I was overcome by emotion the entire movie. Not only had we lived in Memphis for 5 years, and experienced this culture through both urban ministry and Elizabeth’s crisis intervention work, but we had also adopted a beautiful baby boy who was African American – who’s now 9. Memphis is a large city in the mid-south that has the same struggles as the large urban ones of New York, LA, Houston, and Chicago; drugs, prostitution, violence. They need Jesus worse than anything in their lives.
REAL Jesus. Not fancy churches, or charitable outreach that is here today, and gone tomorrow so that others can feel like they’ve cared for the poor, clothed the naked, or housed the homeless. What the Touhy’s did for Oher was real Jesus. I don’t know them personally; and I know they were REALLY well off. I hope and pray it was the real Jesus who motivated them to act on their faith with Michael Oher; I have no doubt that is really was. The kind of kindness that is real and experienced, taken home, and reflected on long after people are in their quiet times.
I’ve come to believe that it is impossible to minister to someone without them seeing the real meaning behind it. If it is Christ, they will see the selflessness that is behind it. It if is selfish, people will see it. If you truly love someone with the love of Christ, it is infectious, and they will share it with others.
GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It’s a great one. The love of Christ is the most motivating pure force one can gather. May God grant us all his grace to overcome ourselves and become the people we need to be.