Friday, September 19, 2008

Top Films: A River Runs Through It

“Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding.” –Rev. MacLean

“A River Runs Through It” is a tragedy that everyone can eventually identify with. We see the lives—ordinary and unremarkable—of a small Presbyterian family unfold throughout the film. We see two brothers grow up learning about life. The problem is that one of them decides to live his unwisely and ultimately face the consequences.
The younger brother is not a “bad” person; well, let’s say he is not evil. He is a sinner in more obvious ways than a lot of people. He drinks and gambles. The tragedy of this story is that he does not listen to his father growing up or his brother once he is grown.
This story is not really about the wayward younger brother, but about those in his life that are witnesses to his self-destruction. They want so desperately to help, but their help is not wanted.
This is the hard lesson that everyone must learn eventually. We can love the people around us. We can offer to help them have an abundant life. We can not decide for them. The question is: will we continue to try, or give up? Or perhaps the question should be: are we capable of loving sinners the way that God loves us, sinners though we are?

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