Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thoughts on "The Blind Side"

I saw The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock (Academy Award winner for best actress in this film), for the first time tonight. Before you tell me that I'm a little behind the times... let me remind you that a doll like me gets pretty busy. (Also... whenever I go to the movie theater, I always sit behind someone taller than me. You try being 0' 10 3/4" and then you'll understand...)

In the movie, a white family adopts an African American young man who grew up in the projects in Memphis, Tennessee. They help Michael improve his grades and learn to play football, eventually getting him a football scholarship to a college (with some plot twists along the way).

I was very impressed with the movie. I could talk about how it painted Christians in a relatively good light, or about what a good actress Sandra Bullock is, but honestly, the thing I'm left with as an audience member was what a beautiful movie it was. My only concern is that movie-goers across America watched the movie, maybe even cried or felt moved, but did nothing about it.

I tutor African-American high school students in the projects in my city. I've seen firsthand that the life that Michael Oher led was not an exception, except for one thing. He was adopted and had a chance to make it in the world. These kids I tutor are working on their college applications... but that's because an organization from my church is offering tutoring, help with physical needs, and people who care about the children enough to believe in them.

For every Michael Oher, there are countless children who won't get that chance. They'll drop out of high school and do drugs just like their parents. They'll be bounced from foster home to foster home. They'll get pregnant at 16 (some already are), and, as one of my friends put it, they'll see more before they turn six than I'll see in my lifetime. At the same time, they may never leave their neighborhood.

In the meantime, we sit in our cushy American homes and help by tutoring once a week, if that. We worry more about our own safety, our own comfort, and our own schedule than we do about the lives of these children... we spend money on a movie ticket to see one of their success stories that could have gone to buy one of them a meal. It seems kind of inconsistent, don't you think?

Perhaps God isn't calling you to work with kids in the inner city projects. Obviously, that's not where He has placed everyone. But I can tell you one thing: God didn't call you to be comfortable. He called you to be a comforter of the brokenhearted... and I think there's a big difference.

With love from an absolute doll,

Erin Joy

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