I watched the Gran Torino with Mark a few weeks back. Whilst I would not recommend it to anyone with a faint heart, I personally found it very moving. It is an intense movie but I found it to be a brilliant social commentary as it looked at one “unloveable”.
Clint Eastwood starts as a bitter old man who has shut everyone out. He remembers “the good old days” when young men stopped to help women and the elderly. He knows houses by the names of their builders and original occupants, not as transitory shells. He grew up in a time when Anglo-Saxons were the main racial group in his area and does not count the new immigrants as Americans. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that he ends up discovering that friends are not always found where you expect them and family are not always denoted by genes.
The reason that I found the movie touching was the truth I saw within Client Eastwood’s character and the challenge it presented to me. Here was a man who was lonely; longing for someone to see value in him, his life and his skills. He had much to offer but no one, not even his family, looked passed his age nor the shell of bitterness and aggression he hid behind.
Watching the film I could think of people I have met that hide behind walls to prevent people seeing the pain, loneliness or hurt they live with daily. But these people are treasured by God, made in His image, and have value. It only took one person to allow his wave of bitterness and angst to sweep over them as they stepped inside the wall. Once that one person was inside they were privy to all the wealth of treasure to be found in the old man Client Eastwood played. Then others saw; others came in; the wall melted. His family had wanted him to receive their well intended advice with joyful acceptance so that they would feel good. They did not ask themselves how they could best love him.
Touching. Challenging. Am I prepared to take that initial wave? Am I willing to seek out the treasure in people who throw angry words at me? Am I prepared to step up to those who society classes as ‘unloveable’, who are unwilling to be loved? Am I prepared to change how I show love to meet another’s needs?
Christ declared these words:
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Oppression can be of spirit; captivity can be of the mind; poverty can be of the heart. Christ calls us to walk in His ways. If He went out to such people, should we not also stretch out our hands to them and offer them hope, love and friendship?
John 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. Mathew 5:14 “You are the light of the world… Mathew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others…
This is not easy but it is our call and He will help us. We are called to love. Remember the two greatest commandments; love God and love man. Today let love infiltrate your daily routine – especially extend it to the “unloveables” who are, in fact, loveable and are crying out for love.