March Films for Tough Times

Good mental health is derived from the realization of our own earth-creatureliness, being both interdependent on other species, along with sobering impermanence. Jesus encourages all of creation to flourish, with a sense of the holy, for the fullness of God (“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise,” Luke 23:43).

We are surrounded with the beautiful and unfathomable mystery of God’s creation, demanding our attention, celebration, wonder, and praise.  Yet our world has a tendency to divide the spiritual from the physical.   A line from Mary Oliver’s poetry says: “I am sensual in order to be spiritual.”

 The Mental Health Committee recommends the viewing of two films expressing the beauty and riches of our planet from two perspectives: our food choices and our powers for promoting practices on behalf of our planet’s sustainability.

“A Perfect Planet:  The Story of Earth’s Power and Fragility” (2021) The exquisite camera work by PBS is narrated by David Attenborough to remind us of the importance of volcanos, with underground forces essential to life.  The power of the sun, the relentless weather, the ocean currents, the rhythm of the tides, the power of the waves — seeing all these aspects helps us to fall in love with our planet more deeply and witness the natural world in all its wonder.

Only then does Attenborough remind us that our once-stable climate is changing, getting less reliable and more extreme.  The year 2023 is on record as the hottest year ever, which causes all of life to struggle to cope.  As the dominant species, we must care more skillfully for our planetary home, as we move into a new geological era of history.  (Available to stream on Max and Discovery+)

“Food Choices” (2016) This documentary gives startling data based on nutrition research.  Historian Daniel Boorstin:  “The biggest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.”  We are poorly advised in nutrition and easily vulnerable to misinformation, unreliable slogans, and inaccurate health promises.  It clutters our relationship with food and risks our well-being, along with risking the well-being of our planet.

Protein was discovered in 1839 and became attractive to good health. Today we are in a “protein push,” which leads to changes in our body chemistry.  It also leads to damage of our soils and pollution of our rivers and lakes.  Data is shared about what is the best diet for the human species, as well as learning how to be responsible on behalf of the well-being of our planet. (Available to stream on Vudu and Tubi)

Jesus to his disciples:  “Those who trust in God will perform the works I performed, and will be able to do even greater deeds.”   (John 14:12).

 Daily Prayer:  O God, help me to realize that there are no limits to what I can do, when I am acting in Your Spirit.