Church Life, Love, Ministry

Lars and the Real Girl

Last night, Light Princess and I finally watched “Lars and the Real
.” Without giving away too much, let me just say it’s a beautiful and
painful fairy tale about what happens when a community, and a church,
and a family choose to love a person who is troubled instead of
judging, stigmatizing and ostracizing him. I love it that an old man
pastor is one of the people who quietly sets the example.

I want to be like him when I grow up.

In my sermon yesterday I paraphrased the story of “The Rabbi’s Gift” and leaned particularly hard on the idea that respect for one another and respect for one’s self matter. Scott Peck used the phrase “an aura of extraordinary respect” and I thought about it as we sang the hymn following the sermon, while I looked out at the congregation.

Whether you sit in a pew or stand in a pulpit or survey the universe from the choir loft, there are surely people you look upon with less respect or regard or just plain love that you hold in your heart when you regard your favorite people. You may have a different scale for measuring the qualities that make a person favored than I do, but you’ll have one, whether it’s used consciously or not.

And I’m not sure being in the pulpit doesn’t make us more likely to do so, sometimes.

“Lars and the Real Girl” is, of course, a movie. It’s a closed environment, and it’s set in a pretty isolated geographic community, but I’m not sure our churches don’t function that way, too, especially smaller ones. Do we have it in us to love not despite the quirks and annoyances of others close to us, but to love inclusive of those characteristics? (Thanks to Cecilia for a great post on this topic, over here.)

If you’d like to talk about the movie, join me in the comments. I can’t guarantee we won’t spoil you if you haven’t seen it.

8 thoughts on “Lars and the Real Girl”

  1. I searched for an image of the pastor, but the picture in the post is the closest I could come to one that expressed the way the church embraced Lars and Bianca.
    One of my favorite scenes had to be the casserole ladies sitting in the house with Lars, doing their knitting, keeping vigil during the “tragedy.”
    What did you like, or find provocative, or heart-warming?

  2. Songbird, thank you so much for the link… I have not seen this movie, but it is on my Netflix queue! Lovely post, important, important message.
    Pax, C.

  3. I loved that movie. I wept for Bianca. I love that she was on the school board, having a dealt with a few myself.

  4. This movie was beautiful. I really think I need to see it a second time to appreciate it more. The way the community came together was beautiful to see, especially the growth in the various characters.

  5. I have not seen the movie either, but I’m intrigued. We’re going to start on Netflix, and it will definitely be on our list.

  6. also putting it in the netflix que – they’ll wonder what’s going on!!

  7. Sounds like I gotta see this movie. We don’t use NetFlix but I just put a hold at the library…I am # 388 on the list (seems to be a popular movie) but fortunately they have many copies.

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