Last night Julie and I watched “The Blind Side” with my parents and eleven year old daughter, Tabitha. Although Julie and I had viewed it when it first came out at the theater, it was my parents’ and Tab’s first time to watch this extraordinary true story. You probably already know the storyline . . . a wealthy white family invites a homeless sixteen year old black boy to live with them (ultimately resulting in his adoption) and he eventually becomes a football star for the Baltimore Ravens.
The story affected Julie and me so deeply, once again, that we sat up late discussing its implications in our lives. In a nutshell it comes down to this: God declares that “real spirituality” is to “care for widows and orphans.” (James 1:27) In other words, to care for those who cannot care for themselves. It’s what Jesus did. And since we are now to do all that Jesus did . . .
This morning my dad and I were up early having coffee. He told me a story that I had never heard before. When he was 17 he worked in a grocery store. He became friends with another teenage boy named Noah who happened to be black. My dad’s parents owned Hillside Park (a swimming park) in Clinton, Ohio. And on one Saturday my dad invited his friend Noah to come and swim at the park. Noah took him up on his offer. That evening, after Noah returned home, my grandmother (dad’s mom), told my dad never to invite another black person to their park. The thing that I find striking about this is that Grandma Nettle was one of the godliest followers of Jesus I ever met! She’s the one who prayed me into becoming a Pastor. And still, just 50 years ago, she had a horrible blind spot in her understanding of the heart of God.
As I recounted the story my dad told me to Julie, I explained to her that it was only 8 years ago that a very similar blind spot in my life began to be made apparent to me. I had been blind to God’s deep deep love for the marginalized. I’m still trying to figure out all of the implications . . . but I do know this: God loved this world so much, all of the people of this world, that He gave His Son and His Son gave His life, for me and for you and for orphans and those with HIV and the homeless and downtrodden, those without hope, with no-one to care . . . And we can do no less. If you think differently then I would ask you to consider if perhaps you too may have a blind spot.
Great movie! I get to talk to alot of people every day at work. Many have blind spots and it breaks my heart. The latest comment went something like this…I think it is bad when black and whites have kids because the kids always suffer. My reply …. they only suffer because people feel that way. This always gets to me since my Granddaughter is a product this mix; as people call it. Why does it have to matter at all. It certainly doesn’t to Jesus, We are all made in his image. I wonder why some think their image is preferred or somhow better. Blind Spots.. indeed.
Greg… Love that movie! God has created a “Blind Side” in my life. Im single and needed a guy to help me out around the yard. About two weeks ago, I was working in my yard and a black 14 year old yelled at me. “Hey, I was created to cut grass you know!” I said oh really. His reply was to give me his phone number.
The next day, I called him to come over to help with my yard. He did. He has been coming over the last several weeks everyday to help me out. What a blessing! He comes from a very tough life, living on the margins of society. I have had the chance to share meals with him, and minister to him in a way I would have never imagined.
I appreciate you sharing your story and allowing me to share mine. I am looking forward to you being back from your break. I pray it was a time of restoration and enjoyment with your family.
It’s amazing how those blind spots creep into our thoughts and then become part of who we are. It has been a long battle to remove them from who I am. I wish i could say I was there but just like everything else it takes a lot of hard work and effort. Thanks for setting the bar higher and challenging us to get over top of it.
I work with the public almost every day…. It is quite the interesting job.. Every day, I, a plain girl, get the opportunity to touch people lives in a way not everyone gets to. I tell people my honest opinions and views. I discuss religion and politics, regardless of what they think. We all respect each other enough not to argue, we just talk. I do however tell everyone that I get the opportunity to share with, that a person with different color skin just has different pigment in their DNA!! THAT’S IT, THAT’S ALL!! The skin is just different. Seriously, this disturbs me when I truly think of everything that people, humans beings, have gone through in the past, and still to this day!! I shatters my heart to think of what society has embedded in our brains, even when we try soo hard to push it out, it is there!!! Thanks Greg.. I suppose I should now go rent the movie! Haven’t seen it yet, LOL!
We do late night street evangelism in Dublin and it’s amazing how hard it is for Christians to join us. It took me a year to get my nerve (and love) up to go out. I’ve seen many ‘unlikely’ people melt with the warmth of the Gospel when someone just takes the time to share it with them.
i love that movie. its one of my all time favorites. my dad is like the family was at the beggining…i remember getting into a fight with him because he always looks for the bad in people…like the main thing they saw was his nationality…well he was yelling at me about how some of the people i hang out with were bad people and i told him that jesus didnt always hang out with the best people…of course that didnt mean much to him because hes not a christian but it means a lot to me and when ever some one is telling some1 that they shoudnt talk to them because of what they do i always remind them of jesus and who he associated with.
by the way im 14 years old and i work in the nursery at the rivertree on portage