Sunday, August 17, 2008

Henry Poole is Here

"Faith, hope, and love, these three remain. And the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor. 13:13

In the world today, beated down by work, pressure, and stress, many people can lose hope in the future, question their faith in God, and become isolated and individualistic, satisfied simply with a group of Facebook "friends" rather than interpersonal loving relationships.

Henry Poole (played by Luke Wilson), the central character in the film Henry Poole Is Here, is a young adult in that same rut.

And when a major health issue confronts Henry , he crumbles and retreats inward. We aren't sure what kind of health problem that Henry has, but we know that he is told he only has a little bit more to live. He didn't have much of a life before the diagnosis anyway. He went back and forth to work like a drone or a cog in a wheel. What struck me was how sad Henry was about losing his life, even through he seemed equally sad living in it all along. But God is never sad about our lives - God rejoices in our life.

And this film shows us that, no matter how far we run away or try to escape our troubles in life, God is always there, calling out to us, ready to embrace us upon our return, just as in the sotyr of the Prodigal Son in the New Testament.

Henry Poole Is Here is a heart-warming summer movie that gives a new face to Paul's infamous passage from 1st Corinthians: "Faith, hope, and love, these three remain. And the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13). Seeing this film reminds us that all of us, including poor Henry Poole, are called to live in a loving community, called to hope in our future regardless of long we have on this earth, and called to believe more than our eyes can see.

From the previews, one might say that this movie is about miracles and water stains that look like Jesus, and we only need to believe in these signs from God. But I really don't think that is what people will get out of Henry Poole is Here. The catalyst for Henry was not a miracle on the side of his wall, but how that miracle brought people into his life - and those people were the very miracle Henry needed.

Ask yourself - what is it that God has given your life that cause others to take interest? Instead of shooing them away, how can we invite them even deeper into our lives - so that we can experience "faith, hope, and love" with others around us?

And many of us are probably overburdened with life or feel like a cog in a machine with our jobs, our homes, or our problems. We can probably associate with Henry Poole at one point in our lives or several. When we find ourselves in those situations, ask God to pull you out. But don't sit around lonely waiting for the Lord to answer.

Instead, look around you at others - friends and even strangers - and see the face of God. Through them, may you find faith in something profound, hope in your own future laid out before you, and the love of others for who you are.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Hi Paul, thanks for this insightful take on how HENRY POOLE IS HERE can relate to our everyday lives. Did you know it's received the prestigious Truly Moving Picture Award for being a film that "expresses hope and respect for the positive values of life"? It sounds like these sorts of films are ones you'd appreciate--learn more at the official website. There's an interview with director Mark Pellington posted as well--his back story might shed a whole additional light on the impact this film will have on audiences.