My husband Jamin and I left the theater where we watched the movie “Blind Side” and I have to say that the movie got me asking questions of life and philosophy. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the story is retold of a white family in Tennessee who becomes become legal guardians of a 17 year old African/American homeless boy and make him part of their family. Mike Oher becomes a son to them and through the love and encouragement of the Touhy’s, he discovers and develops his athletic talents. It is a beautiful story of love from both the Touhys to Mike and Mike to the Touhys.
I leave the theater wondering if evolution is what brought us all to this phase in the life of our planet, and if the laws of natural selection and survival of the fittest are really the governors of our actions, then where do families like the Touhy’s fit in? Are they an anomaly? Who in their advanced evolutionary stage of life would negate the laws that brought about their existence in order to assure the life and existence of another? Where does this kindness come from?
It wasn’t long after our date to the movies that the disaster of the earthquakes in Haiti became known. Tragedy and catastrophe of enormous proportions rocked that nation and hundreds of thousands were dead. Even as I write this blog they are piling the bodies of the dead and making miraculous rescues in the rubble. Again I am pondering the thought of people rescuing others unfortunate…bringing supplies, raising money, flying to the little nation itself to offer some sort of help and hope. Is this really the result of the evolution of man? Where does that hope come from?
I learned from a friend of mine who travelled to India a story of a man and woman who married under the most unlikely of circumstances. The man, who was a leper was an outcast in his country and made his living by begging which he did daily to get money for food. He met a woman on the street who had been sold into the sex slave trade and over time they fell in love. The man made a vow to the woman that he would one day collect enough money to buy her freedom from the degrading life style she was forced into. Sometimes he went days without eating in order to save the money necessary for her redemption. When the day came that he had enough to buy her freedom, he did just that. He redeemed her, and they married. Today they have a beautiful girl, and the man’s leprosy is no longer spreading in his body. There in a land that discards its sick and poor came a desire of redemption from a man who himself was in the lowest caste.
I’ve seen the bumper sticker “Commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty”. And I guess if I believed that I am the product of evolutionary soup, clawing my way through existence, then I could believe senseless acts of beauty are just that….senseless. But I can’t adopt that train of thinking because it just doesn’t make sense. Beauty and kindness aren’t senseless. Love, devotion, redemption, sacrifice, faithfulness, and kindness are beautiful traits, qualities, and actions of people, who have been loved, devoted to, redeemed, sacrificed for, faithfully guarded and treated kindly by the Creator God Himself whether or not they know it or acknowledge it. God’s fingerprints are on every man He created. Inherent in all of His creation is beauty and when we who bear the image of God reach out to help, protect, love and care for another, hope is born.
Beauty is. Kindness is. Love is. Faithfulness is because God is. There is no other explanation that can satisfy the meaning and value of life for every human being. My natural selection does not determine the worth of another. The fact that all of mankind was created in the image of God gives us value. The gas chambers of Auschwitz should speak clear enough that man’s ability to discern beauty and worth can be skewed and grossly perverted.
People are valuable because God has deemed them so. Life is worth protecting. Kindness isn’t a random action; it is a determination, decision, and well-spring of life flowing from the heart and character of God Himself. We, as followers of Christ must be the bearers of hope to the world. We are His “man” and we are His plan. So as we serve alongside unbelievers in relief efforts for Haiti, or in the special education departments of our school systems, or in the cancer wards of the hospitals we do so because God’s image is on all of us, but the difference is made when we are able to acknowledge where our hope comes from and allow God to empower our actions and maybe begin the conversations about where hope and kindness come from and show them Christ.
Good deeds warm the heart but cannot save the soul. This life is temporal and fleeting. For our eternal hope we must come to our Creator God and acknowledge that He is God and we are not. Our hope is in Him, our life is in Him and our strength is in Him. My part in life is to be an overflow of the character and grace of God to people around me. My prayer is “God, help me be.”