Good viewing, good doing

Went to see The Blind Side yesterday.

When the 4th season of The Wire aired on HBO, the main story line focused on four middle school boys, who, in all likelihood, were headed for the “corners” – a life of drug dealing, violence and gangs.

I was so moved by an episode, that once I stopped crying, I started to think about whether I was too old to adopt.  The idea that there are children who have no choices, who will probably not live to their 40s, who are equally as threatened by government social systems as they are by corners, is too much to get one’s mind around.  I finally decided that I would give to charities that helped these kids:  Mercy Home in Chicago and Boys Town, Texas.

The Blind Side is about a teenager equally at risk.  I read the book by Michael Lewis a few years ago and loved it.  It blends a wonderful history of the evolution of professional football with the remarkable story of Michael Oher (now playing for the Baltimore Ravens) and the Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy family.  Yep, I was crying like a baby at the end of the movie yesterday, but The Blind Side provides a happy ending.

I was impressed by how true to the book the movie was – there are a couple of things that they’ve taken artistic license with – but overall it was solid.  And, it really brings home one of my favorite quotes by Mother Teresa, when asked how she dealt with all the suffering and all the need in the world, she responded that you start with the person in front of you.

As we wrap up 2009 and head to 2010, perhaps we could each look for a way to give more of our blessings to those in need, to look for a charity that speaks to our heart and become an enthusiastic supporter and regular contributor.  This Christmas I am reminded of a Gospel reading I’ve heard many, many times: “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me.”