The Help is a great movie giving us a very real depiction of what segregated life was like for African Americans in America prior to some laws that brought about slow change.
When “The Help” begins, aspiring journalist Skeeter returned from four years at Ole Miss to find that the black servant who raised her, Constantine, had mysteriously disappeared from her family’s employment and no one will say why. Apparently, she went to Chicago after her daughter used the front door in front of guests, mouthed off about it, and caused her to be fired. There, Constantine quickly died a natural death. Skeeter assumed that her dear friend and caretaker died “of a broken heart.”
Skeeter also found that in her absence her high school friends, led by the evil Hilly, were now running the entire town of Jackson at the age of 22. With Hilly’s leadership, and cowed by her social authority, these white women were capable of appalling rudeness to their former caretakers and were collectively enforcing segregation with little iron fists in velvet gloves. Hilly’s racist project, other than humiliating her maid, Minny, at every turn, was to ensure the complete and total separation of the races. She hoped to do this by passing a state ordinance that mandated that all white households have a separate “colored” toilet, banning their black maids from the family bathroom. She believed if the different “colors” used the same bathroom, the white people would be given diseases by the blacks.
We read that and think . . . that is just absurd!
But it was a very real, prevalent way of thinking many years ago.
And then, people challenged that way of thinking, challenged that “norm” and change happened.
When Jesus began teaching the “beatitudes” . . . the “O blessed are those . . .” change happened! He messed with people’s paradigms (a framework of beliefs and behaviors that people become entrenched in after a period of time).
He challenged people to use new:
- filters to judge things differently
- lenses to see things more clearly
- rules so that we could live in a new way
All this was done so that people could live in the reign of God in a real, connected, HERE and NOW way!
“The golden rule for understanding spirituality is not intellect, but obedience. If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience.” –Oswald Chambers
What if we work on new filters, lenses, and rules so that we can experience lives of obedience?