07 February, 2010

The Soloist

For reasons that fascinate me but don't belong here, I'm not going to give a full review of The Soloist. You will enjoy this movie as much as you can relate to its subject, homelessness. If you have a schizophrenic homeless person in your life, this movie will resonate deeply with you. If you care about the homeless at all, it will touch you. It is based on a true story, and you feel the reality of it the whole way through.

The moral of the movie is simple. The homeless don't need to be fixed nearly so badly as each homeless person needs to be known as a person, and every person needs a friend. It's a great moral.

Here's the rub of the movie. You can't always fix the things that make a man choose homelessness. Sure, sometimes you can do things that make room for a miracle, but when a person has chosen a life outside of the culture there's always some root cause. We like to think they just misunderstood something or had a run of bad luck, but sometimes it's nothing like that. Sometimes it's nothing anyone can explain, fix, or prevent. The co-protagonists of this movie tried everything to improve this man's life and got nowhere the hard way.

The movie asks a tough question (and answers it to its own satisfaction) that I think Christians need to answer.
Can you be a friend to a broken man, apart from needing to save him?

06 February, 2010

Where are all the good pencil sharpeners?

Just whining.

I've not had a good pencil sharpening experience in years, and good pencil sharpeners used to be everywhere. Is everyone completely sold out to "engineering" and "efficiency?"

I wonder where I've sold out.

04 February, 2010


I don't read Nahum very often. I don't know anyone who does. There's that one little line, "Behold on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news," but Isaiah said it first and that little bit more beautifully.

And come on, what's Nahum really got to say, anyway. Hey! Nineveh! God used you to scourge Israel, but you shouldn't have taken such pleasure in the job. Now you're going to pay worse than you made Israel pay.

It's not the world's most inspirational message. So, why's it there? Why would I say it's there in light of my new thoughts about scripture? Care to take a guess?

It's only 3 chapters, so why don't you give it a little look?

Here're some thoughts to entertain as you read it.

The Ninevites are the children of the folk who heard Jonah and repented.

The Lord opens this book by describing Himself, and never quits. He's defining Himself to His enemies.

In between describing Himself and the things He will do to His enemies, He describes some pretty clear things He'll do for His own people.

He tells them how to wait for Him.

And He makes a great point of making sure Nineveh understands that it's for violence everywhere they are judged.

This is Jesus speaking. There is no difference between the voice of Yahweh here and the voice of Jesus in 2nd Thessalonians or the Revelation.

And speaking of the Revelation, what we see Jesus claim in Nahum is more than passingly similar to what He claims is coming at the end of time.

So paint the picture in your mind. Think of it as a movie, and Nahum happens at about the 1/3 point. In an old time sheriff movie, you might see John Wayne deal with some petty criminal early on. That's significant. You know when the climax of the story arrives the standard he's set. You know that sheriff. You know whether he's kind or cruel, brutal or lax, consistent or creative.

As you read Nahum's pre-history, don't expect to read a roadmap of what God will do. Expect to meet God dressed for vengance and coming to relieve His people of their punishment. Not everything I read in this book sits well with me, but it's all true. It's Who He IS.