Recently my wife and i watched 2 very different movies. One was The Blind Side and the other was Amelia. Both were really good movies and I recommend them. Among other things, there was something I got to thinking about after watching both.
The Blind Side dealt with a homeless african-american youth from the bad part of town who was adopted by a white Christian family and eventually makes it to the NFL. Amelia is about Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic ocean alone.
At the end of her life, Amelia set out to be the first woman to circle the globe. On her final leg of the trip, her plane disappears somewhere over the Pacific ocean. It was really quite a sad thing to watch. Like watching the Titanic. I tried imagining what it must have been like for Amelia and her navigator in their final moments. She was driven by her passions only to fail her final flight. What intense feelings she must have had facing defeat in those final moments.
The Blind Side fortunately has a happy ending. A homeless boy they call Big Mike is taken into the home of a wealthy white family because of the great compassion of the mother. (Based on a true story, by the way) Near the end there was a scene in which the adoptive mother voices over images of newspaper obituary clippings. Clippings of young men just like Big Mike. Clippings many of us are familiar with of 17, 18, 19 year old African American youth shot and killed. For a W.A.S.P. like me, it’s much more difficult to imaging the final moments of these young lives. I would guess they are full of anger but mostly fear. What must it be like to grow up with no father in a hostile environment where violence and guns is your only means of empowerment. Where there is no one to guide you and you don’t even know you need guidance. Where one never experiences a true sense of belonging and don’t understand how it is supposed to be. For these young people who end up in the paper, their names go by, faces go by, a mother cries out, and then they are forgotten by most.
Amilia Earhart was world-famous and symbolized many positive things for women. She was missed. I just wonder how many people die with hardly anyone mourning them. How many people die who would have had a chance if someone would have just shared their life with them. In Irrestistable Revolution, Shane Claiborne shared how Mother Theresa’s mission was not to heal the sick, but to let the sick die with dignity.
But it’s not just about the dying. Or maybe it is if we consider that all of us are heading for death a little each day. The following quote comes from http://www.achildshopeintl.org/HomePage.html.
Right now, more than 3,000 legal orphans in Ohio foster care are waiting for adoptive families. Ohio has over 14,000 churches, and God has given clear commands for Christians to take care of His orphan children. So if the command is clear and the need is apparent, why are these kids still waiting?
How sad is it that so many kids will grow up not knowing they are valued – not feeling loved. I wonder what it is that has caused so many of us to become callous to the lonely and needy around us. Amelia Earhart was mourned by thousands of people who never met her. Kids pass away and are not mourned for because nobody knew them. I imagine a funeral where only God is present with thousands of angels standing in the periphery, sad for God. And He is sobbing. I guess the solution is simple and it’s been there in front of us all along.
Love your neighbor as yourself.