I am racking my brain here trying to remember the name of the movie with Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman … Come on … you know it … Morgan Freeman commands Steve to build and Ark … Steve doesn’t want to build an Ark … he tried to ignore the commandement but finds that animals are suddenly drawn to him…he can’t keep his facial hair under control …and suddenly wearing an unstructured robe is much more comfortable than his jeans. What is that movie called? anyway, I like that movie. I know many people that did not. But here’s the thing; I like movies that not only entertain, but provide a message without cramming it down my throat. That’s what this movie did.
SPOILER ALERT – do not read this if you have not seen this title-eluding movie but plan to do so now because my description above is so compelling …
Ok, so good ol’ Steve, after trying to worm his way out and around this commandment finally decides to build the Ark. He toils and slaves, enlists his children, then to the dismay of his wife becomes a laughing stock which prompts her to pack up the kiddies and leave him … don’t panic, they return … then after all the turmoil and strife the ARK is finally completed. The animals board, Steve emplores the onlookers to board, (let’s just say he is much nicer about this than me … those nay-sayers would likely drown if I put all that time and effort into building that massive vessal while everyone else sat around eating tuna sandwiches and laughing…) anyway, the clouds gather …the storm is near … it sprinkles … and than the skies clear! More cajolling and laughter from the crowd. Poor Steve is somewhat humiliated but truly believes in what he has done … and then … the dam breaks … yep, it’s a flood but not the flood of biblical times … It seems the housing development was built illigally and the Congressman (John Goodman – always a great pick for the nasty-mean-man) was well aware and very greedy and trying to pave over his wrong-doings … and the Ark sails right up to that big fella and the true nature of his misdeads is revealed.
In the end Steve and family are ready to picnic when he spots Morgan Freeman under a tree. Steve inquires as to the relevence of building his Ark when Morgan reveals that ARK is an acronym for (what else?) Acts of Random Kindness. Of course! Here we are sitting through this little romp complete with it’s ups and downs, giggles and groans, all for the simple reminder that each of us will be happier in the long run over our own ‘Acts of Random Kindness’.
We also got this message in that other movie with the little kid that saw dead people (different movie, same kid)…that was RAK. I like it, I believe in it, I try to teach it by example.
Which leads me to …
Monday afternoon driving home. 900 East Freeway exit is always rife with cardboard carrying folks asking for help and offering God’s blessing in return. Sometimes I am moved, sometimes I am irritated (like the time the guy stood there on his cell phone with his ear buds leading to his ipod), and sometimes I even pretend not to notice these folks (especially the ones that stare at me) … Let’s face it, we all do at one time or another. But Monday, oh my goodness Monday! There stood the most pathetic of men with his cardboard sign that read "Disabled dad needs help" and of course, "God bless". As I inched forward and through the green light I was stricken by the fact that this man has a very bad case of frostbite on his fingertips and worse yet, his left hand has an open wound, likely from the frostbite, which of course meant that he can’t use his hands! There they sit, those awful hands, (I am sure painfully) on the ends of his wrists, unable to bend or move. The skin pulled so tight it is glossy and tearing, the fingers as black as night. And there I sit in my car gliding through the light on my way to my warm home, refigerator full of food and closet full of clothing … then I cry because i am an awful human being that just witnessed and drove past this suffering man. I thought about his family. His sign said he is a dad. Are his children in the same kind of shape? Does he look at them embarrassed for his condition? Are they hopefull or hopeless? I feel much shame and in this shame vow to do something for this man.
Tuesday, he is not there. Has he moved on? Has he died for surely if left untreated, he will die.
Wednesday afternoon: There he is. Same clothes, same shamed look on his face, same unmoving hands with those useless black fingers. I am ready. I have an address for the downtown free clinic and I have cash. I ease up to him knowing full well that the light is green and my fellow commuters expect me to drive forth. I do. Right up to this man, where I hand him the money while asking about his health. Can I help? He is embarrassed. I did not mean to embarrass him. I hand over the offerings while he tearily thanks me. I drive away and utter a prayer of "Please God, please let there be a doctor that drives this route who will be willing to help this man." I cannot cure him, I can only offer a few tens. I can hope that his belly and that of his children are full today. I can hope that others are equally moved. I can hope … and most of all, I can continue to build my ARK.
Are you working to build your ARK?
Yeah for Alicia! The movie is called ‘Evan Almighty’ … thanks pal!