Shoot your TV...

Well, not exactly, but we have decided that after watching reruns of "House" in a semi-vegetative state last night, the time had come to put an Indian blanket over that little addiction box and experience other things in our shared life. Good choice. Tonight I led a small group of 10 through the film, "Pay It Forward." It came out in 2000 and many saw it as too sensitive and tender to encourage others... which, of course, is why I loved it.

There are three bold themes in this movie: small acts of love ripple throughout creation in ways we can never imagine, the words of our deepest faith must become flesh or they are simply good intentions paving our way to hell and often healing takes us through agony - Good Friday to Easter in my tradition - because God can work good with all things when we love and trust God. And, so, this group of young/old believers - some were 80 and some were 20 and most of us were closer to 50+ or between - watched and laughed and wept and prayed together.

And then we talked about it... really talked about how this film touched us: How the moment when the addict saves the life of a young woman about to kill herself was so powerful, how even death isn't the end of the gift of love and how children - and sometimes strangers - can jolt us back into living as our best selves.

One of the crazy ass truths about doing ministry in a small church is just when you are feeling like you aren't connecting... connections happen - often in the most unexpected ways. Like me tossing off a comment about starting my prayers with an old Cat Stevens song only to have a momma tell me afterwards that she always sang all her babies to sleep with "Moonshadow." Or three different men - of three different generations - telling me how meaningful an Eels song in worship was to them as they make peace with their fathers and children.
Or an 80 year old woman asking me, "How come I never heard George Harrison's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' before?" And when I told her its been around for 40 years - came out in 1968 - she got a sheepish look on her face and whispered, "Oh, hell, that's when I was going through a divorce." Which caused us both to burst out in laughter having tread that hard road and come out on the other side before, too. Yes, there is something to be said for shooting those TVs... better to say a prayer with Cat/Yusuf and give thanks for the mystery...

(NOTE: I can remember watching this clip when it FIRST came out - and looking like some of those dudes in the audience. OMG!)

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