saw this great movie over the weekend. it is a "darkly funny" british film - mostly dark, a little bit funny. brilliantly scripted and directed. we all felt a bit worn out after seeing it...good stories well told tend to have a physical (visceral?) effect. the main characters suffer from OCD and related disorders that pull back the curtain on some highly amplified thought lives. at one point the heroin of the story is explaining the 'disease' of OCD to a fellow sufferer. she says most people filter out the random worries of each tiny action/condition (lights on or off, hands clean or dirty, sitting down, showering, shaving, getting out of bed, etc.) yet, for OCD sufferers, this white noise is overwhelming and prompts highly unusual behaviors.
one of the most memorable scenes for me was when our heroin leads her comrades (support group) into a farm yard to kneel in the mud and push the wet, filthy soil and manure through their fingers for 5 minutes. it was excruciating to watch these people overcome such fear and repulsion yet it was also one of the highest moments of love as they encouraged one another and reminded each other what they are recovering from.
this manure-moment struck me as a nice metaphor for our fellowship and other gatherings. we're all in recovery from obsession over things that are unlikely to really matter in the long run (by 'long run' i mean our lives here-and-now as much as i mean in the by-and-by). we are caught up in the white noise of our consumer culture. we are recovering consumer addicts (or perhaps we are 'too clever' to be mall rats...we are more addicted to minimalist living, downward mobility, being radical - whatever that means - and generally more interested in a grunge/granola lifestyle than the mission of God). we all know what can most easily distract us from loving God and neighbor.....anyway, when we gather, we stick our hands in the manure of our lives and share the despair over the apparent distance between the dreams of God and our 'real' world. and then we might dare to read some scripture and discover there are mustard seeds of hope germinating and throwing up small, green shoots of protest and celebration, fasting and feasting. reminds me of another of my favorite movie lines... at the end of I (heart) Huckabees the despondent would-be-poet claims that, "there is no magic without the manure."
(or somethig like that)
so i would suggest you see the movie and perhaps see yourself in the movie - and i am glad we have a dirty filthy loving community.
a note about the dvd cover image....it looks like something it's not. The woman pictured is actually washing his hair and lovingly bringing him back from a low place of depression and self-neglect/abuse. and on that note...fair warning: the movie is, at times, a bit rude.