I watched the movie Crash last evening. My wife’s comments after it was over were, “Well, that was depressing.” She was right and yet there were also tiny slivers of hope.
This movie begins at the scene of a multiple car crash in Los Angeles. We are then taken back to the day prior. The film builds very slowly as we meet characters from a variety of racial and ethnic groups: Americans of European and Middle Eastern descent, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans. The characters display bigotry, hatred, anxiety, fears, hopes, and many of the worst aspects of human nature. Very few of the characters fully gain the viewers’ sympathy and, yet, none of the characters are without some redeeming character no matter how small.
As I reflect on the film, the word to describe the actions in it I believe is sin. I define sin as a separation from God and from each other. Separation was plenty in this film. People judged one another based on skin color and actions. People used other people, killed other people, and molested other people but mostly they didn’t see each other or hear each other. It was not a complimentary view of humanity.
And yet there were slivers of hope. One character that demeaned another in the worst possible way, refused to leave her to die after a car crash. Another character who seemed to have given up on his brother, made sure his elderly mother had groceries in her refrigerator, one carjacker displayed empathy for illegal aliens who were bound toward slavery. There was hope when the individuals however briefly opened their eyes and saw their fellow human beings.
So, what do I do with these film images that refuse to leave my head?
This film doesn’t reflect my view of humanity or life and, yet, it is hard to deny that there is truth in this film. What I didn’t see in this film were people who consistently choose to operate from a place of love. I know lots of those people. Typically, they are people of faith; they are Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Muslims. In this blog, I will periodically highlight individuals in my life who exude the love of God or Allah or Jehovah or who seek the peace of enlightenment. Some of these people I have known for years; with some I only had brief encounters. In each of these human beings I can feel the Spirit in them.