Because That’s What Heaven Looks Like

After my glowing review of To Save a Life, I thought of one other thing that kinda annoyed me about the movie. I know it’s Hollywood but they do make it look a bit easy to make friends with that one outsider kid. He’s mostly normal underneath and his awkwardness is all a little charming after you get to know him. However, this is not real life. The nerdy church girl usually doesn’t have stunning teeth and perfect hair and quirky style.

When I was a teacher, there was a kid. He was cool. He skateboarded, dressed normally, had a charming personality and was on the fast track to becoming a popular kid.

There was another kid. A young man who was awkward, had been held back in his grades and laughed at all the wrong times with the strangest most contrived evil voice you have ever heard.

Cool kid decided to make friends with Awkward kid. He was a better person than me. Amazing right? All a great movie ending right? Maybe. But most of us will never understand the full extent of that commitment. Cool kid stayed friends with Awkward kid, giving up his chance at popularity. He not only made friends with Awkward kid, he made BEST friends with him. They were inseparable, and not in the way that usually happens where Awkward kid tails after Cool kid. Cool kid included, invited and genuinely wanted Awkward kid around. I still am not sure I understand it. I was so inspired. I was so moved. For YEARS this went on. They are still friends TODAY! The grown-ups saw it as wonderful. Maybe some of the kids saw it that way also. I’m not sure. I only know that every time I happen to run into either of them, I think how much better I can be after seeing that example.

The thing that gets me about it is, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to be friends with people sometimes. It’s hard to NOT try and change someone – give them a make over and give them the low down on what’s cool to talk about and what’s going to bring an awkward halt to conversation. It’s not a 2 hour movie and then you all go back to your cliques and feel good about yourselves.

It’s forever, because that’s what Heaven looks like.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Because That’s What Heaven Looks Like

  1. Peter Christian

    As always, Callie, I appreciate your perspective. After quite a few tries, I’ve learned that it’s pretty insulting to try to befriend people just because I pity them or because I feel like I can change them. I want to give people a chance, but I want to do so because I value who they are. If people spend time with me, I hope that it’s because they enjoy my presence, not because they think they can fix me.

    As for Hollywood tending toward idealized physique, we’ve been studying Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in one of my classes (GREAT soundtrack!). Lots of my classmates were rather appalled at how unattractively Shelley Duvall is portrayed in the film (the word “hag” came up). Fairly uncommon for a film heroine, huh? I think that films have achieved mythological status in our culture, and so many people expect them to represent the ideal in humanity. Maybe that’s why it’s so important for you to find movies that match your taste and values! :^)

    • I completely agree with the fact that you shouldn’t befriend people to change them. However, I don’t think you need to be best friends with everyone either. The movie didn’t exactly show that he was like the kid in my story. I think that kid, Cool kid, did find common ground with Awkward kid and that’s why they are still friends. However, if we see people who are on the fringes, it’s important to include them and make them feel wanted and a part of the social interaction. That doesn’t mean becoming bosom buddies but it does mean getting over ourselves sometimes. Peter, you always bring me back to reality. I love it that you read and comment. Thank you for creating discussion and making me think!

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