Weekly Comic #8

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The Man Who Listens

I am about to partake in a huge study on Steven Spielberg. I am a filmmaker and one of my greatest teachers through the years has been Steven. Through the countless behind the scenes looks, online interviews, and TV specials, I have learned A LOT from this Master filmmaker.

My “huge study” consists of going over several of Steven’s films on “mute“, and studying how he composes shots, directs acting, creates emotion, and tells a story. For each of the movies I will write a small paper on what I have learned and post them on this Blog for whomever to see.

This particular post will be devoted to what I think of Steven Spielberg now and why I am choosing to do this long and draining study.

Steven Spielberg is a story-teller, and naturally that interests me. Through out the years I have seen movies directed by this man that include many genres. That in itself is very unique. We have been introduced to completely new world, with movies such as Hook, Artificial Intelligence, and Jurassic Park. Steven has thrilled us with movies such as Indiana Jones and Jaws. He has brought us movies full us clever entertainments with The Terminal and Catch me if you Can. And, he has reached deep into our emotions with movies such as E. T., Saving Private Ryan, and Schindler’s List. These movies have span through more then three decades have all been hailed as great and powerful pieces of work.

Indeed, it seems as though I have chosen my teacher well.

What makes this man able to tell stories in so many genres, so well? Why are people so effected by this man’s movies? What has made Steven Spielberg one of the greatest story-tellers to walk this earth?

A few months ago I watched a interview with Steven Spielberg on Inside the Actors Studio. Through out the 2 + hour interview, Steven was asked some very compelling questions. One of the last questions was along the lines of, “If there is a God, what do you want Him to say to you when you show up at the gates of Heaven?” Steven answered, “thanks for listening”.

Right there Steven told me the secret to his success. With that answer he told me the reason why he has been able to effect me so greatly.

Steven Spielberg listens. God gave Steven a great gift and told him to use it. Steven chose to listen. I believe that Steven has been able to make so many great movies through so many different genres and over so many years, because he has heard God speak about the heart of what makes a story great.

Steven’s movies accentuate Life.

Whether it is a boy on a bike flying across the moon, a once corrupt man learning to live again, or a uncommon liberator crying out for one more soul. All powerful examples of the Life that comes from Steven’s movies.

God is the essence of Life and he speaks to us all. Steven is a man who has chosen to listen. It is amazing the power that comes from a man who is able to listen. It takes patients and guts, but the results are worth it.

The world has truly changed through one man’s ability to listen. I have been truly effected by Steven Spielberg; he inspires me to make stories of my own. Steven was once quoted saying, “I dream for a living”. This quote rings true through out his life.

I only hope to follow in his footsteps and become another man who chooses to listen.

One Step At a Time

I have seen a fair amount of coverage on the Haiti devastation and it is good to see many stepping up to help in this great time of need. However, there has been speculation by many Christians that the devastation on Haiti was a judgment, or a message, from God to have the people of Haiti turn from their wicked “Voodoo” ways.

I do not think God is one to judge people through mass destruction. I realize that I might be accused of going against many interpretations of the Bible here. But, when I look at the example of Christ, I see someone who is more interested in having others find out who He is through His love and not through punishing them based on what they “deserve”.

The reason why I serve the God I do is because He first was willing to serve me. What effects me the most about reading about Christ’s walk on earth is seeing His willingness to be the “least of these“. It boggles my mind to think that the authority of the Universe came down to this earth as a servant, a holy and powerful King, who was willing to sacrifice it all for us “filthy rags’ (also referred to as mankind).

I so often hear of God’s power being related to “great miracles or “huge phenomenon of mass destruction”, in order to “send a message”. Often I hear about the “end times” from my Christian friends. The talk mostly consists of how “GREAT” it is going to be when Jesus comes back and how “We will finally see God in all His Power”. For most Christians, God is supposed to be a “Great Adventure”, far more “epic” then any movie or story we have ever heard.

God is talked about as if He is so Great we have no hope of ever getting to Him. We make God be more and more and more until we give up because there is no way to reach Him.

I think we use examples like Haiti’s disaster being judgment from God  as excuses for our laziness. We say that God moves in “Great Miracles” because we are not interested in the little steps it takes to change peoples lives. The “Great Adventure”, is often worked up to be so “Grand”, that we stop and turn away when the actual journey becomes a grind and we see any difficulties or hardships come our way.

The problem with making our walk in Christ so “Great”, so “Magnificent”, and so “Grand”, is that we forget about the small steps it takes to make an actual difference in this world.

Our “Great Adventure”, starts with one step at a time. The “Great Miracle” is just as much having a friend to lean on, as it is having a broken arm healed. God’s voice is not heard nearly as well through mass destruction, as it is through mass devotion to the helping of others.

God. Is. Not. Untouchable. God is not hiding. God’s. Cry. Is. Clear.  He wants us to be His hands and feet. God has shown Himself through those in need. The question is, will He be seen through us?  Will we choose to follow Him? Will we choose to follow God on the path less traveled by? Will we choose to drop our selfish greed and truly go on the “Great Adventure” through the paths of uncertainty and on the roads of hardship?

The great power of my God, is that He is relational. We do not deserve God’s mercy, yet He has given it. Jesus, the King of Kings, came down to this earth and sacrificed his life for me. I only pray that I am able to do the same for Him.

Abortion

It is amazing how some problems are elevated to super stardom while others are mostly ignored by the Christian community. Homosexuality and Abortion are the two big issues for most Christians now a days. I wonder why? I agree abortion is a big problem. It is very sad to think about the millions of babies who die every year with no hope of making a choice for themselves. In regards to homosexuality, that is something I will maybe try tackling some other time.

My problem is the concentration we seem to have on these two issues to the exclusion of other important issues and the way we go about “dealing” with them. A sin is a sin and I do not think God wanted us to think of one as worse than another. I also feel as though we are trying to stop the result of a bigger issue rather than the issue itself. At least with regard to abortion.

When someone chooses to have an abortion, there usually is some reason behind it. I think finding out the reason behind the choice is the key to stopping abortion. I believe if we looked closely we would see thousands of woman thinking they have no other choice then to go along with an abortion. It is very likely that the girl who is contemplating an abortion, does not have a willing father for the baby. She most likely has already been, or would very soon be, shunned by her own family for getting pregnant and end up with no way to support the child. The girl probably can not think of a reason why she should keep the baby when she can not even take care of herself. The fact that she got pregnant in the first place, usually tells us that the girl does not think very highly of herself let alone her ability to take care of a little child.

So how do we go about changing this? For some reason we think that marching against the abortion clinics and supporting those candidates who are pro life, is the best way to stop abortion.

For all the money and time we have put into rallying against abortion clinics, it only seems to put a wedge between us (Christians) and those we want to reach. Many of us are at least proud that we vote “Pro-Life” during the election time. But where has that gotten us? In all truth, we have had several “pro-life” Presidents sense abortion became legal and they have done very little to turn the problem around.

If we want to stop Abortion, we will need to do what we humans seem least prone to do. We will need to find a way to forgive and reach out to those in need. True change, can only be built through relationship.

True relationship takes time and it can not be one sided. The relationship must go both ways. Are we as Christians, willing to truly look at the reasons why someone considers abortion? Do we have the strength and patience to go deeper and find the source of the problem? Do we have the time and the love to help support the person deal with the pain of an unwanted pregnancy? Are we able to open up to them?

We must be able to look past the sin. To stop abortion, we must stop concentrating on the result and start looking at the cause. There are millions of shattered hearts out there, all crying out in some way for help. Helping those hearts will take more time then a rally on a clinic and it will take more dedication then voting for a pro-life candidate. If we are to solve abortion, we will need to show the love of Jesus.

Much easier said then done.