Word of the Week

Film and Friendship

The Hagan household loves movies. When we are able, one of our favorite weekend evening activities is to head to the theater (and it doesn't help that popcorn is one of my favorite indulgences . . .) in search of the next great film.

Over the past several weeks, we've had the chance to see  movies that were well worth the money for particular reasons. I want to mention one in particular as it speaks to the topic of friendship.

Several weeks ago at the AFI Cultural Theater in Silver Spring, MD we saw the film The Soloist starring Jamie Foxx. Foxx's performance was brilliant! He should win or at least be nominated for an Oscar. 

One of the things that I loved most about this film, was the beauty of the musical interludes and how the director truly enabled you to get into the head of the main character (Nathaniel Ayers) suffering from homelessness and mental illness. But not only this, the meat of the plot dealt with the true friendship story that was play200px-SoloistPostered out between Nataniel Ayers and Steve Lopez, the LA Times reporter who happened to strike up a conversation with this man one day and couldn't get him out of his head or his columns.

Without giving the ending of the story away, I can say that I was most moved by the fact that in the end, the virtue of friendship was exalted as what both saved Mr. Lopez's life and Mr. Ayers', even though both of their life situations never made dramatic changes.

One of the best lines spoken came from the social worker assisting homeless Ayers, saying to Mr. Lopez: "You are the best thing going for him. His life is better because he has you as a friend."

My mind couldn't help but go to the people who have been in and out of my life through the years to whom I could say: "You are one of the best things going for me- You are my friend."

This only confirmed my hope to led a class on friendship sometime in the near future at Washington Plaza. 

I attended a "friendship and the pastoral life" seminar while at the Transitions in Ministry conference last month and was given some great resources of thought on the topic. As I've chewed over all I learned there, I've becoming all the more convinced that what is lacking in our technology driven, running crazy, spending our nights watching tv alone in our house society is that friendship. It  is something that all of us need more of in our lives. Yet, we find few places to discuss our needs for it or friendship's frustrations and joys. We struggle and celebrate in silence, often without the resources to know how to grow in this important kind of love.

Research studies, show that friendship or otherwise known as meaningful human interaction led to healthily life outlooks, better health and life expectancy. Plus, if you read much of John's Gospel, the idea of friendship seems to be a constant theme. Jesus saying, "I have called you friends." So, why is it that we are so scared of talking about it?

Let me know if this topic rings home with any of you and if so, let's chat. Until then, check out The Soloist when it comes out on DVD- well worth the rental fee.