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Cinema & the Arts as Sermons: Why We Can't Save Those We Love

Updated: Jul 23, 2023

Why We Can't Save Those We Love

"About this video essay: Why is it that we struggle so much to help those who are closest to us, those we should know and understand? Why can’t we save those we love?

Sources: Norman Maclean – A River Runs Through It:

Ernest Becker – The Birth and Death of Meaning:

Further Reading: Like Stories of Old – The Complete Reading List:

10 Books that changed my life:

10 More books that inspired my thinking:

Media included: 500 Days of Summer; 50/50; A Beautiful Mind; A River Runs Through It; About Time; Ali; Amadeus; American Sniper; Apollo 11; At Eternity’s Gate; Beautiful Boy; Before Midnight; Before Sunrise; Before Sunset; Blade Runner 2049; Brokeback Mountain; Captain Fantastic; Casino Royale; Crazy Stupid Love; Demolition; Ford v Ferrari; Free Solo; Get On Up; Good Will Hunting; Goodfellas; Grizzly Man; Her; I Tonya; Interstellar; Into the Wild; Lincoln; Little Women; Louder Than Bombs; Man of Steel; Marriage Story; Moonlight; My Own Private Idaho; Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin; Opening Night; Portrait of a Lady on Fire; Rocky; Senna; Song to Song; Steve Jobs; The Descendants; The End of the Tour; The Haunting of Hill House; The Imitation Game; The King’s Speech; The Leftovers; The Shawshank Redemption; The Tree of Life; The Two Popes; The Wolf of Wall Street; To the Wonder; Tolkien; Voyage of Time " from video introduction.

Have you ever tried to help someone you were very close to, perhaps a family member or close friend and were meet with frustration or even hostility?

In this excellent video from Like Stories of Old we get a up close look at this conundrum of life.

I for one like many of you have experienced this and when I did it brought home to me how little I really know about life (and yes that person).

And conversely I now realize how in the past many people tried to tell me what I should hear and I was obstinate, sinful and would not listen.

The ancient Roman Maxim says "Know Thyself" yet that declaration is I believe next to impossible. We can of course know ourselves on different levels but the deep things in our souls and psyche are known only by our Lord. We do not know ourselves. Life is short and in our culture distracted and fast. Sadly it is only as we look back that we can see (not always) our sin, our mistakes, our rebellion.

The video points out that for most of us it is when we are younger that we have a better connection to our inner selves. Do you recall how it was in many respects easier to see the world around you in more simpler terms? We made friends easier, revealed our emotions more.

But as we age and mature we have greater difficulty connecting with people and expressing ourselves. Why? Could it be our soul becomes scarred from living, from our sins and we cant see past our own brokenness to communicate honestly to others?

Although you and I can't save to ones we love Christ can. Our efforts though they be genuine or honest or loving or sincere just often are not enough. Christ rescues people through suffering and often through death. Let us honor and worship our Lord whom while hanging on the Cross had all of these incidents of our lives in his mind.

Ernest Becker – The Birth and Death of Meaning (link)

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