Reaching Out for Help
Sooner or later, each of us asks, “How do I ask God to help me?”
By the time the weekend rolls around, we need a break from always “being on.” You know, our constant productivity and focus on what we are trying to finish. Our incessant mindfulness of what’s next on our to do lists. By late Friday, the energy drains of our work, or perhaps looking for work if we are in an employment transition, leaves us feeling like we are washed up on the beach. We are wishing we were at the beach but the couch in front of the television and some outsourced fast food is what seems needed for the little remaining psychic turf that is at the edge of the weekend.
Which is why I like to throw in a Netflix movie on Friday night, put my feet up and be entertained. Let someone else in the entertainment industry tell someone’s story of adventure, romance or a dramatic social change toward justice. Give me some story of ordinary people acquiring supernatural power to overcome impossible odds and achieve a stunning victory. Perhaps triumph over evil or crawling out of abject poverty to spectacular wealth. Maybe emergence from acute loneliness and oppression to overwhelming romance and finally, justice and fairness for everyone. Bring on Friday night.
Some time ago, we watched a movie called “Frozen River.” Actress Melissa Leo played a single mother, head of household with 14 and 7-year-old boys, struggling to make ends meet in upstate NY.
The movie opens with her character, Ray, sitting outside of her snow-covered front yard, amidst the rusting junk. She is smoking and shivering because she is wearing a chenille bathrobe, out in the winter cold, and her face is blotchy because she is crying.
She can’t get her boss to move her to full time at the variety store. The Rent-To-Own people are on their way to repossess their TV. She’s also about to lose her deposit on a new trailer. Her life is a littered mess of bad decisions and broken relationships.
Out of desperation, she turns to join a few others who smuggle illegal aliens. They live on the edge of the US northern border and a Mohawk tribal land — just outside the border security jurisdiction. She and her fragmented family are not bad people. They’re just…