June Films for Tough Times

The hot summer is near, when emotions can take a tumble, with lots of people interacting closely.  Scientific research reports that after 95 degrees, the murder rate goes up and riots are more likely to happen.

As our cities increase in population, so does our need to exhibit emotional intelligence.  It is especially important to take the church with us outdoors, and share the Gospel liberally.  The Mental Health Committee invites you to view two films, both set in New York City during the hot days of summer.

“Do the Right Thing” (1989) gives us a walk in the shoes of African Americans and Italian Americans living together in the rough, tough neighborhoods of  Brooklyn.  Coarse, bombastic language is included by Director Spike Lee, especially when racial tensions reach the boiling point.  “You can do nothing … you can do something … or you can do the right thing.”

“As Good as It Gets” (2005) Melvin (Jack Nicholson) is a wealthy novelist, diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, and speaking with Manhattan’s meanest mouth.  He strains to write about love while giving sarcastic microaggressions to his neighbors and to his favorite waitress.  She gives his vitriolic language a sharp comeuppance as she sets healthy boundaries for her and her son. Melvin learns that we all have terrible stories to get through, and he is taught by her to listen carefully.

Acts 9:36: ”In Joppa, there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas).  Her life overflowed with good works and compassionate acts on behalf of those in need.”

Daily Prayer:  O God, help me to avoid “fixing” others. Instead, may I give them the healing power of kindness, doing the good works guided by the Spirit, in the way of Jesus.  Amen.