Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


2003 - Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Banks
Written & Directed by Gary Ross, based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand

Well, now I'm in a pickle. How can I review this film? I decided only to review films we really, really like... but you know, sometimes the more you like something, the harder it is to talk about it. While I was at university in California, friends would ask me to describe Yoko and I couldn't. I couldn't sum her up in a word or even a few words! Guess what? I still can't.

Not that this film is as good as she is. But she loved it, and so did I. Shoot, when we ran across the street to return the rental video before midnight, I said "C'mon, Pops!" and she said, "Haa!" Whenever she runs now she's going to say, "Haa!"

I may not make much of a movie critic after all. But would it be a bad thing if my review were little more than an ad to encourage you to see the film? I guess I don't think that's so terrible.

Seabiscuit. It's the story of an imperfect horse that became a legend because some imperfect people helped him and were helped by him. The horse didn't seem great. Neither did the jockey, Red (Tobey Maguire). The owner wasn't experienced. And the trainer seemed to be a crackpot. But they did it. Not just once, either. It reminds me of "Gattaca" ... that heart can go further than breeding and talent. And watch that heart go!

And watch our hearts be lifted by theirs. When we see someone's heart go, it makes ours go, too. Somehow that's what life is all about. Film critic Roger Ebert said that sad moments in films don't make him cry as much as goodness in films. When we see goodness in others, we're stirred.

And hey, when I see what my Jesus did for me, when I see His good heart, something good in me rises that I didn't even know was there. Like Seabiscuit & Red, even though I lose & fall more than once, I can get back up again. Jesus went lower than anyone else and is now higher than anyone else. I can go further because He did, because He won the race already.

Somehow the story of Seabiscuit also reminds me to be silent and let others' hearts speak instead of making my own definition of them by what I see, what I've heard about them or even what little I've observed. There is a liftetime behind people, and everyone has a heart. I remember that Jesus "had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him" (Isaiah 53:2). Likewise, we'd never think that the Cross would be a Tree of Life to those who embrace it. But Jesus did, and He embraced us, bringing life out of us.

Watch how when Mr. Howard, the future owner of Seabiscuit (Jeff Bridges), is taken to Mexico by his friends who hope to console him for his painful losses in life by throwing parties, taking him to clubs and sporting events. I love how one woman (Elizabeth Banks) sees him and knows he's in pain, and is the first person who really helps him, ironically, by not saying anything at all. In a similar way, Seabiscuit thrashed around in life and at anyone who tried to handle him. Then a trainer (Chris Cooper) took him under his wing, and paired the horse with a young jockey who himself was thrashing around in life. Because the trainer listened, understood, waited and loved, Red & Seabiscuit were healed. And as Red and Seabiscuit saw each other's pain, their thrashing went away and an understanding developed.

If we can learn a lesson, I hope it is that when we give someone time & love, we'll not only understand them better but we'll begin to help them find their hearts, and we'll find our hearts, too.

"C'mon, Pops!" "Haa!"

On a final note: I'd be curious to find out more about what happened after the film ends... how they retired, etc. If you know links where I can read about it, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks!


Post a Comment

<< Home