Lion

sahoo

“Let’s go see a movie tonight,” my wife suggested on Friday evening. “Sure,” I said, “what’s playing?” My wife loves going to the movies and I like to eat popcorn, so it’s the date that has something for each of us. She checked the listings on Fandango. She happily reported there were 3 good options, none of which I had heard of before. She rattled off the show times and review ratings. Ratings mean about as much to me as who is wearing what dress at the Oscars. It’s the opinion of some critic that lives in a faraway land and gains his worldview through Electronic media and magazines like Vanity Fair. So, I asked my wife, “which movie has the worst critic’s rating, I’d like to see that one.” Her preferred movie was starting soon, so she was ready to throw on her jacket and move quickly towards the theater.  As an alternative, I suggested “let’s have a relaxing dinner, then drive to the theater and go see whatever is up next.” Being the fantastic wife she is, she agreed.

An hour later, we were standing at the ticket window weighing our options. She stepped up to the ticket window and purchased two seats to see “Lion”. I figured it was either a cartoon with happy jungle songs about the circle of life or some action movie about Wall Street. Turns out it was neither. It was actually a very moving true story about a 5-year-old impoverished boy, Saroo, from India. Saroo gets lost from his family and, through a series of unfortunate events, ends up a thousand miles away wandering the streets of Calcutta. Through his eyes, we get a glimpse into the dangerous and hard life of a street child in Calcutta. Eventually, Saroo, ends up in an orphanage and then is adopted by a family in Australia. The movie chronicles his new life and eventual journey back to India to find the loving family he lost as a small child. It was a welcome surprise of a movie and well worth the $14 on tickets and $100 on popcorn.

In the days that followed, I could not shake the heartache I felt thinking about those street kids in Calcutta. The movie revealed kids who are ghosts to those around them, as people rush through the bustle of another day. They sleep in the subways and beg on the streets. These kids are brushed aside by a society without the means to support them. As a result, they often fall prey to the child predators who scoop them up and drag them into a world where no child of God belongs. The week following the movie, I began to notice the many radio commercials asking for financial assistance to feed hungry children around the globe, I heard sermons about serving others, and I read bible verses about taking care of the orphan.  As I processed all these inputs, I remembered that Jesus called us to a life of repentance and service, “the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve” (Mathew 20:28). In his sermon on the mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirt, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mathew 5:3). I always wondered what it meant to be poor in boys-in-indiaspirit. After seeing the movie Lion and thinking about the poor, parentless, street children of the world, I began to feel poor in spirit. I felt the pain of precious souls in need while I freely sit in a theater and enjoy a bucket of buttered popcorn. I am aware of many charitable organizations that are doing their best to answer the need. Many of us donate to these organizations and I believe we are making a difference. But I also wonder if we, as the body of Christ, made a concerted effort, could we solve this problem? Could we clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and take care of the orphan? Could we completely erase these problems from our world? I have started to ask myself, what am I prepared to do?

There was a rich man that approached Jesus and asked him what he needed to do to secure kids-in-indiaa place in heaven. Jesus told him to keep the commandments. When the rich man responded that he already kept the commandments, Jesus replied, “sell all that you own and give to the poor and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come follow Me” (Mark 10:21). The rich man walked away sad for “he had many possessions.” This seems crazy, who wouldn’t sell everything to spend time getting to know the creator of the world? I wonder how I would respond if I was that rich man. If Christ asked me to merely sell everything I owned that has wheels, and give the proceeds to the poor, would I? I could easily part with my son’s skateboard, but the bikes, motorcycles, cars, and camper, that would be tough. Even my craftsman toolbox has wheels!

I’m still not sure where all this thinking will take me, but the movie Lion has stirred some deep thinking and will definitely have an impact on my future. How much easier it would have been if we had skipped dinner and gone to see the Lego Batman movie!

Defend the weak and the fatherless, uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed – Psalm 82:3

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A Race in the Desert

rocknroll-marathon

I arrived in Phoenix late in the afternoon this past Saturday. It was January 14th and a storm system was moving in across the west. The flight from Denver was bumpy and I thanked God for bringing me here safely. I booked this flight a little over a month earlier when my college age daughter invited me to run with her and her roommate in the Rock’n’Roll half marathon in Phoenix. She brought this up while we were visiting her in Tucson for Thanksgiving. The allure of a warm January day in Phoenix took hold immediately and I quickly accepted. Continue reading “A Race in the Desert”

Christmas: Just another day?

I was driving to work this December and barely paying attention to the radio station whenfamily-circus1 the DJ asked a simple question, “What are your strongest memories of Christmas?” Before I could consider my answer, two things popped into my head; 1) The year my father declared on Christmas Eve that he was cancelling Christmas and 2) Going to see the movie Misery, on Christmas day. The Misery movie was nothing more than a bad decision. I remember leaving the theater drained of any Christmas spirit. I made a mental note that going to the movies was probably not the best use of precious Christmas hours, maybe a game of scrabble or twister next year. As for my Dad cancelling Continue reading “Christmas: Just another day?”

Riding the rapids….

img_0908It was finally summer time in Colorado and I was looking forward to a long weekend trip outdoors with an old friend, my nephew, and my son. A few months before we all agreed to take an early June rafting trip down the Arkansas River, when the water levels would be their highest. We decided on a 5-day getaway in the mountains; camping, fishing, mountain biking, and rafting! Continue reading “Riding the rapids….”

Are there dogs in heaven?

scout-colorado-trail-2016This questions keeps coming up, ever since I was a kid, running through my Maryland suburban home with my dog Socks. I never got a good answer as a child, or as an adult. I even researched the bible on this topic and could not find a definitive position on the subject. So I’ve had to think this one through and have concluded that dogs are in heaven (for cat lovers, this conclusion applies to cats as well). Why did I reach this conclusion, it just makes sense. I can’t imagine a heaven that does not include our canine companions. My current dog, Scout, and the 5 previous dogs I’ve had, all display the core attributes you would expect to encounter in a heavenly creature. Well, maybe not all 5, my mother’s poodle, would be an exception (sorry Mom!). But the others all had the sweet innocence of a two year old, the patience of a loving mother, and the loyalty of a fellow soldier under fire, and they are this way every day! Continue reading “Are there dogs in heaven?”

Losing Gee

beach

This week a close family friend, “Gee,” unexpectedly passed away. It appears he was getting ready for a morning workout and was enjoying a cup of coffee when his time came. He had recently retired and was thought to be in good health. His passing was a shock to us all. Gee was a man full of life, with a quick-whit humor that could bring you to tears from uncontrollable laughter. His personality took over a room as soon as he entered it. Gee could discuss serious topics with a light hearted humor that put everyone at ease and allowed others to open up. I imagine him in heaven cracking jokes about his experience encountering St. Peter at the pearly gates or searching his new home for a bathroom only to discover there aren’t any in heaven as they are not necessary, what will he do with the extra 15 minutes a day! I’m sure he is having lots of fun talking about his profession, see Gee was a mortician. Continue reading “Losing Gee”

Summertime is…

smores

I hope everyone is having a great summer! Mine has been busy, with little time to devote towards my blog. I’m guessing many of you are just as busy and may be limited in the time you have to read through long posts. Despite the busy summer, I still want to connect with the community we are building through NothingImportant2Say. So I’m trying something new today. A short blog topic that is intended to be a quick read while soliciting some feedback on how your summer is going. Below I posted a couple thoughts on what summertime is to me. I welcome you to post a response with your definition of summertime!

CTSummertime is…a cool morning on a scenic mountain trial with my dog Scout and nowhere I need to be all day. This gets even better when a mountain bike is involved!

Summertime is…a crackling campfire, graham crackers, chocolate, and extra large marshmallows.

patio fireplaceSummertime is…breaking out the lawn furniture for a Friday afternoon on the patio with neighbors and friends.

What is summertime to you?

Flowers appear on the earth, the season of signing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. – Song of Songs 2:12