I went to see The Help last night with KB. It's been a long time since I've gone to an evening movie and paid full price for a ticket. Oy Vey. We sat through a lengthy series of commercials- everything from A- Z. We breathed a sign of relief when they were done, only to be thrust into another series of ads about upcoming movies. We were there to see a PG 13 movie. The ads were....strange at best. A bizarre mix of material that teased and flirted and jumped in head first with material that went beyond a PG 13 rating, material that de-sensitizes the viewer to everything from modesty to singularity. In the midst of it all comes an ad for the next Sherwood Films Production. A bright light in a dark and devious industry. 3 cheers (again) for the Kendrick Bros, Sherwood Baptist Church and courageous men and women of God who are wiling to face giants.
In our Hebraic Fellowship this week it was shared that the gladiatorial games were stopped by a monk. He had the courage and the fortitude, and most likely the foreknowledge that he would die, to go out into the arena and declare, "ENOUGH." Of course, (I write so easily), he was martyred. But, once the deed was done, the crowd dissipated, never to re-group to glorify death so openly and so horrifically.
And that, my friends, brings me finally to The Help. Skeeter's mom gives a beautiful speech on courage and standing up against culturally norms that are wrong, deceitful and evil. Skeeter and Abilene and other brave souls are willing to stand up and declare, "Enough!"
I loved the vindication in the Help. How prejudice is thwarted, or at least addressed. But, I think, it is also a good metaphor for us as Christians. We are surrounded by evil and godless men and women, like Hilly, like ourselves at times, too culturally or familially entrenched to even recognize the dark blemishes of our own souls, who bully and terrorize and snuff out the light wherever they go. And yet, we are called to confront it, like Abilene is. Not in anger and ugliness, but with humility- "You are a godless woman, Miss. Hilly...aren't you tired? Aren't you tired?" Beautifully played Viola Davis! I hope you win an emmy and kudos in heaven for showing the face of God to us as he looks at our ugliness and pleads with us to give it up.
She leaves us with this profound thought: love our enemies. "But Lord, it is hard." Oh yeah, Sistah, preach that. Especially when they are dressed up and fancy and the world applauds them and we appear as nothing.
Kuddos to Kathryn Stockett for addressing a difficult topic, prejudice,so beautifully, and for addressing the human condition with tenderness and compassion (and for doing whatever she did to keep the movie so closely tied to the elegance of the book), the Kendrick Bros for staying in the fight in a dark and powerful kingdom, an unnamed monk who saved countless lives from destruction in the games, and countless souls from participating in Godlessness.
Art as worship, life as sacrifice. A blessed Sabbath!