Monday, August 17, 2009


My wife and I watched The Soloist last night. I won't go into what it's about so as not to spoil it for you. But I did think that the movie captured a lot of good themes: friendship, grace, compassion, powerlessness.

But it was grace that seemed to strike a chord with me. It could be nothing short of grace to have the paths of two people from seemingly different circumstances meet. And it is grace that brings them together to learn from each other.

In the context of the movie, grace is expressed as a kindness from God that isn't deserved. It is a gift. And it has manifested itself in the lives of a homeless man and a reporter who does what so many of us do--tries to save someone, make things better in hopes that it will make us feel good.

I think that the scenes of the homeless in Los Angeles were particularly disturbing for me. It's another world that I haven't inhabited. And yet, the movie portrays homelessness as not being hopeless. Maybe that made it all the more poignant.

Tonight is my home group meeting. I'm chairing the meeting and will share some of my story. I think that I want to focus on "freedom from despair". That seems to be how this program has really worked for me, making me appreciate every day as having something new to offer. I guess that's grace in it's finest form.


  1. Thanks for the movie tip. This week end I watched "The Class" I think you would like it.

    Grace..I just love that word.

  2. have not seen the soloist as yet Syd, but intend to , maybe this weekend. I truly love Jamie Fox, here in Toronto we have many homeless , some are fathers,that lost their jobs, now cast away by family , and society.

    God’s grace is truly working in a your life, it is obvious!! By the Grace of God, I thank YOU

  3. I just rented that this weekend - have not yet sat to watch it though so now I am looking forward to it.

  4. I liked your comment about "...every day as having something new to offer."
    Great post.

  5. "Grace is getting the things I don't deserve and Mercy is not getting the things I do deserve."

  6. Nice post, Syd. Thanks for your support at my place.

    Homelessness is just another "Yet" for many of us, and it could creep up just like the other things we swore would never happen to drinkers like us.

  7. I watched it last weekend and it had a profound affect on me. My brother is a lot like Jamie's character (without the musical stuff). I started to feel more compassion and can kind of understand the "letting go with love" just a bit more. That concept had been pretty illusive to me as of late. I also had difficulty with the homeless scenes in LA. The movie did bring me much understanding about what my brother may be going through though, especially the apartment scene. Thanks for the share.

  8. I've been meaning to see that movie. I had almost forgot about so thanks for the reminder. I be you will be spreading some grace tonight at your home meeting.

  9. Hi, Syd -

    I'm new to your blog . . . you have an awesome writing style!

    Your post made me think about the little 6-year-old autistic neighbor boy who has shown up in my life . . .

    I abandoned music 20 years ago somewhat in reaction to stuff that happened in my childhood. Just in the last year, I have brought music back into my life.

    This little neighbor boy is teaching me about the wonder of music, the joy of affectionate touch, the wonder and awe of God . . .

    I may be teaching him how to play the piano, but he is teaching me how to re-connect with all that is wonderful.

    - Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

  10. That will be a great topic for your share as chair.

  11. Grace is indeed a gift from God. I am thankful every day for it. Love your posts, Syd. They always make me think and reflect...

  12. Grace in its finest form. Those are beautiful words.

  13. I have not seen the movie. I did work with many homeless people while working at an addiction crisis center. Many of the local homeless used the center for a meal, a shower, to get there cloths washed. We would do outreach once a month and take supplies to the places where they lived. In the winter it was bad. Some of the guys we knew well died.
    Many of them were homeless by choice. They could not or would not "conform". Homelessness has it's own culture.God worked in my life through these experiences. Grace is the right word. jeNN

  14. Syd, you ALWAYS have something new to offer. Always the same "new" stuff. Newly thought, newly written, spoken, and newly new, for me to grow, if I but practice it.

    Newly...and now!

  15. i'll have to check out that movie. hope you had a great meeting tonight. i love the theme of freedom from despair because it's amazing the distance we travel by relying on G-d

  16. I think that grace is one of the most powerful ways of showing true humanity. It is not often seen, but when it appears it is wonderful.

  17. I have to watch this movie. I'm struggling right now -- reaching out.

    Your post was beautifully written.


  18. grace as a gift? yeah, i like that...

  19. For me grace is that gift that only my HP can give me and I accept it each and every time I see it...I wondered about this movie, and glad to hear it's good, I'll check it out.


  20. I'm a huge fan of grace...

    It explains much of my life and answers all the questions I need to ask...

    Thank you...

    Blessings and aloha...

  21. I rented this movie to watch this weekend. I'm glad to hear you liked it. (Hugs)Indigo


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