I watched the 2007 movie Lars and the Real Girl a couple of nights ago. You can read about it here. Also check out Roger Ebert's excellent review of the movie.
were plenty of times when I was bored with the movie, to tell you the
truth, but I will venture to say that it touched me emotionally more
than any other movie that I have ever watched (which is quite a
statement, I know!). The reason is that we have a man named Lars who
(like me) is a shy, socially awkward, rather eccentric loner. And we
have his community, which accepts him. Is the real world like this?
Not everywhere, or even most places, I will say that! But there are
some places that accept people who are rather socially-awkward and
different. In my post here, I quoted blogger David Nilsen, who talked about a church that he visited:
“My favorite image from this journey has been from a Church of the
Brethren we’re considering. It’s a boring, uncool church, but
comfortable being what it is. They sing hymns accompanied by a piano,
and no one leads the singing, and they sound shrill and awkward and I
kind of love them for it. One week a partially blind old woman was
sitting near the middle of the sanctuary. She was wearing a hideous pink
dress she was clearly proud of. In the middle of a hymn she pulled out a
flute and began playing along as loudly as she could. No one was
phased. They kept right on singing around her. I get the feeling this
happens somewhat regularly, and the fact that no one has suggested she
leave her flute at home tells me a great deal about the hearts of these
I've encountered churches that are quite accepting of
people with various quirks, treating them as part of the family. Lars'
church in the movie was like that.
thing about this movie is, it doesn't just make me wish that others
could be more accepting of people with quirks. It actually made me want
to be more accepting and loving towards others, myself. Watching that
movie was like attending a church service where I felt particularly
inspired, and I walked out the door happy and loving. That feeling is
not easy to sustain, but thinking about the community's acceptance of
Lars in that movie is, for me, a foretaste of what heaven will be like.