It was a little over a week ago and I found myself sitting on the couch, eating popcorn, talking with my wife, and watching a movie. I had planned on watching the movie “The Help” for months, but had just not done it. It happened to be on TNT and there was nothing else on TV so we decided that we would watch.
The movie evoked emotions in me I was not ready for. I found myself angry at the injustice I watched. I know it was a movie, I know the events that inspired it are for the most part not reality any longer, but I was angry nonetheless. I was fighting back tears at the end as I watched a little girl cry as her racist mother sent their maid/nanny away. I kept thinking about how hatred and prejudice can appear in sometimes sweet people. How if we are not careful we will allow some type of prejudice to seep into us.
It was at this moment that God smacked me upside the head. He didn’t literally hit me, but he might as well have gone ahead and done it; the effect would have been the same. I started thinking about the man I had met the day before at a homeless shelter. How this man wanted to come to church with us and all I could think was, “How can I pick him up, I have to preach? I have plans right after the service, how can I take him home?” Thankfully, one of the men from our church listens to my preaching about God being the God of the poor and the oppressed (even if his pastor wasn’t listening himself) and he said he would pick him up and take him home.
I have been reminded that embracing the marginalized by society is the call of Jesus’ church. People may be marginalized by society, but they should never be marginalized by God’s people. The Church must always be the place that all are welcome. It is by God’s grace and the work of His Spirit that any of us can call ourselves His people.
So, as I watched the credits quickly scroll on the screen and my wife and I both talk of how that movie was heartbreaking, God was talking to my heart. My wife said I would have been the guy trying to right the book about the injustices in the movie, but all I could think was that I needed God’s help in my life to continue growing in my understanding of Him. I pray that God will continue to shape and mold me into a better man each day. The movie “The Help” was a powerful reminder of what the church needs to be standing up for, but it was also a reminder to me that I always need the Lord’s help.