We All Have a Story to Tell, and We All Want to be Heard

Image(spoiler alert for the movie)

Last night I saw the BEST MOVIE, I honestly think it may be one of my very favorite movies of all time! Sometimes God will really speak to me through a movie or I will feel led to a certain one. I was looking for one to watch, and I saw Netflix had this rated this one with 5 stars as a suggestion for me. I remember when my son was young, he would suggest a movie, and I would sometimes fight it, but when I finally did watch it, God would usually speak to me through it so much. I used to tell him he had a gift for picking out movies. He really believe he did.

The movie I saw last night was called Freedom Writers. It was about a school teacher that did things differently to reach a group of hopeless kids in the inner city. The kids were from all races, they were in gangs, doing drugs, being violent, having sex…etc.  AND they were at war with one another, caught up in hate. Their lives were battle zones.

It was interesting, especially after the verdict of the Treyvon case coming out last night, how much it really spoke to me, and helped me see things from another person’s perspective.

This teacher used the Diary of Anne Frank to show them how bad hate could get; it worked, they all connected and related to her story. She then challenged them to write their own story, to keep a journal. She told them it could be private, but if they wanted her to read it she would, they could just put the journals in a cabinet in the classroom. Turned out, they all wanted her to read it…see, we all want to be heard, and we all have a story to tell. She treated them with honor and respect, she gave them a voice.

She loved those kids, and her love looked like something. She worked 3 extra jobs to be able to provide what she knew they needed, supplies the school would not allow for these “unruly” hopeless ones. She opened their eyes to a world beyond all they had ever known. She got them books at a discount, because she worked at a bookstore part time. She took them on a field trip where they got to have dinner with survivors from the Holocaust at a nice restaurant where she worked part time, and she took them to the Holocaust museum, let them stay overnight at a hotel chain where she worked and got free rooms. She truly laid down her life for them. She taught them how to be relational, and honor one another, by being that way with them. She showed them how to stop being at war with each other and how to truly KNOW the other. Turned out, they were more like each other than they thought.  For many of them, that classroom became the first “home” they had ever known.

The whole time, of course, the “establishment” that was NOT working, fought her. They mocked her and ostracized her. She stood her ground though, and in the end, she…AND the kids won. They did things unheard of in that school, like raising money to invite the woman that had hid Anne Frank to come all the way from Austria, so they could meet her, and here her story. Together, they accomplished so much. Their grades went up, and they began to have hope. See, the establishment had given up on these kids, but this teacher believed in them. And then they began to believe in themselves too.

In the end, they put their diaries in a book, something that would last and say, “we were here!”

I thought, wow, what a picture of the church. I have been in Baptist churches where they made fun of Pentecostals, or known of Methodist Churches that fired a pastor after he got the gift of tongues. I was invited to minister at one type of church and was “kindly” uninvited when they found out I believed in the supernatural gifts of the spirit. Sadly, I have been in many different type of church meetings where they bad-mouthed other denominations, ministries, even calling other ministers of God out by name.

Sure I believe in the truth and defending it, Jesus did too, but there is a WAY to do it, and I think this woman had it right. She fought with LOVE, not judgment. She was a woman of honor and treated those she wanted to change with honor. When will we as the BODY of Christ learn to do that to one another? When will we realize that a house divided will fall? I have friends that are of all denominations, Catholics and Protestants, and I love them all. I might not agree with every doctrine they believe, and I might even tell them so…but one thing I pray is at the end of the day, that they KNOW that I love them.

Like the woman caught in adultery.  Was she wrong?  Yes, did they have a right to stone her?  Legally, yes!  But Jesus said, the one without sin can throw the first stone.  It is time for us to drop the stones, and love each other.

When the verdict for Treyvon came back, I watched the media, and the Facebook newsfeed….and I was so sad. I felt like we had stepped back in time, a time when we were divided by hate. I felt sorry for those that believed it was unjust, and for those that had the need to be argumentative.   It was a time for love, a time to honor one another, to listen to the other, to unite, and not divide. America has made amazing strides, and why would we let something like this, or something like what poor Paula Dean said about someone so very many years ago, take us back to THAT place of hate?  Aren’t we still called the UNITED States of America?

I heard this song in my heart last night, before God led me to watch the movie, and I just pray it will be our anthem in this season. I pray that we will remember how precious each and every one of us is to God.  Everyone has a story to tell, and everyone wants to be heard!

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.

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