Watching the movie ‘Crash’. It’s not the first time I’ve watched it. Nor will it be the last.
We’re heading towards MLK Day. I’m reminded about how easily we stereotype and react. We’re still far too reluctant to take the time to get to know people so we can judge them by the content of their character. In fact, far too many people live in their own personal ghetto, hanging almost exclusively with people who look and act like themselves.
Crash is one of those movies that haunt me. It’s beautiful film making. You have to think your way through it. It challenges paradigms of faith and lifestyle. In one moment, you hate a character. In another, you’re emphasizing with him/her.
Life is like that. What’s real in this moment can change in the next. A stereotype today becomes a friendship tomorrow. What we think is true right now is challenged by circumstance and relationship.
Martin Luther King Jr. talked often about a ‘beloved community’. It is a place where people move beyond their own bias and prejudice and discover something fresh and new and good about another. Is that what we want?
Too many don’t want what new, fresh and good. They like what is old, tired, and predictable. They live for themselves not for what’s good for others. They page through the Scriptures and find plenty of little verses that support their personal lifestyle and point of view. And they have the audacity to call themselves people of faith.
So, I watch ‘Crash’ again and I have to resist the temptation to close my mind to what could be. I so easily fall prey to the folly of my own prejudice. So do you.
This world we live in isn’t served well when we bow to the weakness of our reactive opinions. In my reactivity my ‘sin’ lives large. I judge others. I live with bias. I don’t want to move away from my comfort. But that’ s not the way of God.
The way of God is different. It’s expansively good and forces me away from the narrowness of my cloudy vision. It challenges my comfort and asks me to open my eyes to the possibilities of what could be. And the way of God both scares me and inspires me. It is in the inspiration of God’s way that I must root myself. And so I pray that I ‘fear not’. For my fear paralyzes me. The inspiration of what God is doing frees me. As long as I have breath I want that freedom to give wings to what I know is good.