The Blind Side, 2009
Starring Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates, and Quinton Aaron.
The story of Michael Oher, an homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.
What makes this movie so amazing is that it is based on a true story. It is a story of what happens when people actually choose to live out their religious beliefs, when they take action. So often we see news of religious conflict, but it is really comforting to see when religion can be a source of inspiration for people to commit amazing acts of kindness and love beyond expectations.
This story began when a Christian private school was counseled to live up to the name Christian and help the struggling, homeless Michael Oher to attend.
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead ~ James 2:14-17
Leigh Ann Touhy and her family took it to the next level when they took Michael Oher in, fed him, clothed him, and helped him to succeed. And in doing so they learned to better appreciate the luxury they had taken for granted, as well as time with each other as a family, which prior to meeting Michael they had not.
O SON OF MY HANDMAID! Guidance hath ever been given by words, and now it is given by deeds. Every one must show forth deeds that are pure and holy, for words are the property of all alike, whereas such deeds as these belong only to Our loved ones. Strive then with heart and soul to distinguish yourselves by your deeds. In this wise We counsel you in this holy and resplendent tablet. ~ Bahá’u’lláh
What Michael went through many more people in society go through then we would care to admit. But unlike Michael often these people do not receive a helping hand. Instead those in healthy, wealthy communities isolate themselves. How can we as a society work to eradicate poverty, to provide opportunities for all? How can we overcome our fears? Especially when they are legitimate, like living in a place of violence.
Michael had developed a coping mechanism for dealing with living in an unsavory situation, full of drugs, addiction, violence, and crime. He closed his eyes. He closed his eyes and waited for the problem to dissipate so that when he opened them again the world would be bearable.
O MAN OF TWO VISIONS! Close one eye and open the other. Close one to the world and all that is therein, and open the other to the hallowed beauty of the Beloved. ~ Bahá’u’lláh
I think this is something we can all learn from. All the bad things in life can be overwhelming, especially if we focus on them. If instead we close our eyes to them, and instead open our eyes to the beauty in the world we can move from that darkness to light. I am not saying we just ignore the bad, but instead try to transcend it and not let it bring us down. Michael was able to do that. He could have been to proud to accept the help of the Touhys but he wasn’t. He opened his eyes to their love and chose it over the path he could have taken.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13