Photo by Vik Muniz - Waste Land*
Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, "Samuel! Samuel!"
Samuel answered, "Speak. I'm your servant, ready to listen."
1 Samuel 3:10 (The Message)
I have been impressed with the healing messages of some recent movies...“Waste Land” and “My Own Love Song”. Both bring attention to Other Views of healing of some disadvantaged and unusual people. The common theme for both these movies is the importance of being open to the healing power found within marginalized people and to some nontraditional methods of response to suffering.
Although one is a documentary and the other fiction, both share the method of using art as the catalyst for the healing story. In many ways, the power of art, giving voice and form to relationships, is good news for lonely and marginalized people. What is also the case is that it takes trusting and honest relationships to have the art materialize.
In a recent analysis of responses to the needs in Africa, David Brooks outlines the virtues associated with altruism...courage, deference, thankfulness and “a noncontingent commitment to a specific place and purpose.”** This kind of commitment is the basis of the relationships that are at the heart of healing. For people of faith, we describe that noncontingent commitment as “calling” or as Leland Albright states in the David Brooks review “This is where God wants us to be.”