For those of you who haven’t seen it, it is based on a true story of a devout Christian couple who took in a homeless teen who was failing in school and loved him and were redemptive agents in his life. He went on to great success as a football player, but more importantly, as a caring individual. Sandra Bullock played Leigh Ann Touhy, the mother, and was hesitant to meet her because she said she had only had bad experiences with evangelical Christians. But after meeting Leigh Ann, Bullock is reported to have said in the Vancouver News:
I said to Leigh Anne when I met her, ‘One of my biggest concerns stepping into this is this whole banner thing.’ I told her it scared me because I have had a lot of experiences that haven’t been that great. But she was so honest and forthright. I feel I have finally met someone who practices but doesn’t preach. I now have faith in those who say they represent a faith, whereas before I would say, ‘Do not give me a lecture, because I think I am a pretty good human being. I may not go to church all the time, but I try to do the right thing. You are going to church and sleeping with someone else’s wife, so how are you better than me?’ I finally met someone who walks the walk, and that made me happy.”
Bullock says that the key to her decision to make the film was that the Touhys didn’t get involved in Oher’s life for any benefits that might come to them. She says she felt the film would promote a genuine selflessness. “They didn’t do it because someone was writing an article or a book or making a movie. They did it because their instinct was to give love and to reach out a hand. Everyone questioned their motives, of course, because we don’t trust anyone who does anything nice. That is the sad world we live in. But they kept going, so it makes you feel that you need to step up your game. I felt it was an inspirational story that says we are more capable than we think we are, even though we don’t really live in a world that supports the good that we can do.”
The movie did make me reflect on how living our faith can have such a huge impact on the world.
There were times when I found myself thinking, “This is a secular writer’s perspective of a Christian family, because I have to believe this family was a bit different than portrayed. The stereotype that Christians think you have to be a Republican — that at Thanksgiving dinner they would not be giving thanks — that she would have such callous close friends. But on the other hand — maybe that was all true. I’m sure there are believers of whom that is all true, but it seemed inconsistent with the main story line.
But overall, I thought the film worth seeing this Christmas season — as a family — and one to talk about. It is rare for a secular production team to take on a story about Christians and not completely distort it, so that was so refreshing.
I’d love your thoughts!
I haven’t seen the movie, but if that is what Sandra Bullock really said, it is food for thought. I want to represent Jesus Christ well. I pray for simplicity in my life and that my life is lived for Him. I hope for the opportunity to see the movie.
Deirda — please elaborate on what you mean when you say, “I pray for simplicity in my life.” I’d love to hear more.
Can you imagine if we Christians were all living this selflessly
how we could change our world? The world certainly needs to see more 1John 3:18 Christains. “MY little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” We need less Mathew 6:1 Christians. “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” I admit I struggle with this myself. I was raised in circumstances very similar to Dave Pelzer who wrote the book, “A Child Called It” When I got free of that situation, the Christian community was very cold and unwelcoming to me. Thanks to my God, Who loves me unconditionaly with great mercy. He reached down to lift me up. I wish my story was like this young man’s. But thankfully, God can and will act to save a person who is untouchable by human standards!
Praise and Glory to my God!!
Thanks for this good testimony, Linda. Your reflections have made me reflect — hence my next comment!
Last night on the news they showed that this has become a surprise hit. Deep in peoples’ hearts, is a desire for a more meaningful life. I do think it is a worthwhile movie, though certainly not without flaws.
Here is something I pondered — and would love your thoughts. At one point Sandra Bullock, playing Leigh Ann, asked her husband if she was a good person, and he told her she was the best he knew. It made me think about Tim Keller’s Prodigal God — and how the older brother did what he did for the wrong reason. Not for love of God, but to get his stuff — and sometimes that “stuff” is to make sure others think we are a good Christian. It’s a struggle. Will we do what we do for love of God and be faithful — even if we don’t get His stuff? Even if people don’t notice or think we are a good person?
Would love to know if you struggle with this.
Hi Dee! You asked the question – have any of us struggled with wanting God’s stuff to make sure others think we are good Christians? I know, for me, when I am focused mainly on myself, it is then, I seek more of the approval of men. When I am thinking of others and their needs, and that is where my focus is, then the approval of others is far less significant. I liked what the one writer said, and I agree wholeheartedly – that there are many opportunities in our everyday, ordinary lives, to reach out and touch people. When I have been focused on myself, I have missed many opportunities and it is not because the “love of God has not been poured out into my heart,” and my focus rather than being on the “still, small voice of God” has been on the rather loud voice of myself.
I think of what great compassion Jesus had. After a long day of teaching the multitudes, touching them and healing them – the disciples told Jesus to send the multitudes away, so they could get something to eat. Heck, they were proably tired, it had been a long day! But instead of turning them away, Jesus turns to his disciples and says to them – “you feed them.” I don’t think Jesus did this to “pass the buck”, but I think he did it, so the disciples would “enter in”, to find nourishment for their own souls. Jesus said in John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” I think when we are doing what God wants us to do, listening to that still small voice, we find refreshment for our own souls. The world and our flesh says “me first” – but Jesus knows it is more blessed to give than to receive. The giver of life also knows how to show us the meaning of life.
I always love your contributions Fellowsojourner. So glad when I see your name.
Dee, what I mean by “simplicity in my life” is this. I want to be single-minded. In my heart of hearts, I want pleasing God to be my purpose. It is easy to be distracted by what others want, need, or demand from me. I am one who wants to please. I don’t like any contention or to think I have disappointed or hurt anyone. But sometimes God’s way is different from the opinions or ways of others. I want my focus simply on Him. And in all of that, I don’t want duplicity or hypocrisy present in me. Often in my life I have sought affirmation from others, and when I failed to receive it, I was disappointed. And there have been times in my desire to please that I have been duplistic. Recently God gave me Psalm 38:9 which says, “All my longings lie open before You, O Lord. My sighing is not hidden from You.” I love that because it reassures and reaffirms that God knows the desire of my heart, even when I don’t fully understand. Thanks for having me explain. Seeing it in print is good for me. You are a great blessing to me.
I LOVED the movie!!
Leigh Ann Touhy said in an interview when commended for what she had done, “It’s not about me, it’s about Michael! I don’t think I could have sat at that dining room table for hours every night, studying, and do what he did to make it happen.”
I also read in an interview that on the night she saw Michael walking in the cold, in shorts, that she “felt impressed” to stop.
My husband and I asked each other after the movie, “What if she had not listened to that ‘still small voice’? What if she had ignored it and had not stopped?”
I have been on a ‘journey’ over the last couple years in learning about this very thing. I have found that it is in the ordinary, everyday routines of life that God delights to work through and for His children. I noticed in my studies that Jesus did most of His miracles on His way somewhere. He was never too busy to be interrupted!
I have begun to try to live each day by what I call the “Whatever Principle”–Whatever He wants me to do, Whenever He wants me to, Wherever He wants me to, However He wants me to, to Whomever He wants.
I believe if we cultivate our ear to hear and allow Him to “interrupt” our day, God is ready to use us to reach out someone in our ‘world’ every day. Whether it’s with a smile, a kind word, a pat on the back, or stopping to inquire of a young man walking in the cold in shorts, He wants use us to be His hands extended!
That’s a great quote “impressed to stop.” Liked your reflections on it.
May each of us be open to hear from Him this Advent — and not miss His plan!
We ran into Sandra Bullock in the airport, and she is real and genuine, no put on airs…praying she will meet more “real” Christians. Lord, turn her heart to You and give her a beautiful grace, that she too will be the “real” thing, bringing others to Jesus. Amen!
That’s interesting, Sally! How did your interaction with her reveal that?
I just saw Blindside today, and loved it. It’s focus is on relationships and giving your heart to someone in mercy, grace, and trust just because they need it. Michael made a greater change in the family than they made in him, because he listened to his heart all the time, and did the right thing. He valued protecting others above all, and his size and his heart allowed him to realize this in action…a great lesson to us all. I loved the scene where Michael’s birth mother meets with his adoptive mother, and how his adoptive mother feels for his mother, and reaches out to her with love, telling her “He will always be your son.” No judgement, just love. We can certainly see Jesus’ love working in the hearts of each member of the family, and in Michael.
It made me realize that god has a purpose for every one in life. The movie has brought new meaning to my life n it’s purpose. I want to help the needy. I remember when I wad a lil kid I would see poor needy people on the streets n people begging I would always pray god help them. I would ask my mom for money and give it to them. It would always make me cry too. I am 22 years of age and in march I will be 23. I pray to God to give me the strenghth courage n everything tat I have in me to help others n those in need. I ask this question that lee Ann ask in the movie am I a bad person?
It was one of the best movie I have seen.
So glad to have you on the blog! I can see God gave you a merciful heart and has His hand on you.
The truth is — we are all sinful — all have selfishness and a bent toward our own way. But Christ paid for our sin and if you have trusted Him, you are forgiven.
He continues to rescue us from our selfishness and make us like Him. Sounds like you are on that path — and I so hope you keep blogging with us — perhaps doing the Bible study we are doing together on The God of All Comfort. Jump in!