Friday, September 25, 2009

Global Engineering

The movie Slumdog Millionaire moved me. Have you seen it? I admit, I avoided it at first. As some of you know and the rest of you will learn, I’m a certified movie-aholic. I love stories in every form, but film seems to be the art genre I gravitate toward, almost equal to the written word, which I love, live, breathe. That said, I did not rush out to the theatres to watch this one on the big screen. In my defense, the trailer (an art form in and of itself) didn’t come close to doing it justice.

In February, Slumdog won eight Oscars including Best Picture. This doesn’t always warm me to a film. Many times, the effect is opposite. My stalling continued.

Point is, I didn’t watch the movie until it arrived on DVD.

Wow. I was blown away on so many levels. As a film, it is masterful. It tells the heartbreaking story of poverty, evil, innocence lost, and love triumphing through muck and mire in a visually explosive presentation of stark contrasts and startling exposure. Genuine and fresh performances, intricate and clever writing, stunning titanic locations and sets – it was like a slap in the face and a bouquet of roses all at the same time.

If I were a missionary to India, I’d show this film at churches in the United States. No other presentation (and I grew up in church, so I’ve seen a lot of presentations) has moved me so thoroughly. Okay, so it’s Rated R for “some violence, disturbing images and language” but I believe those elements are used in an effective, not gratuitous, way. I recommend this film the same way I would recommend Saving Private Ryan, The Passion of the Christ, Glory, Hotel Rwanda, and even Blood Diamond. Slumdog highlighted an epic tragedy of our modern day that I confess I did not know about… to that extent at least. I even felt a little ashamed watching it, and yet I had no idea where to start making a dent in such a global problem. How can I possibly be a bridge for those poor orphans living on a literal swamp of rotting trash and human waste in danger of being kidnapped, maimed and forced to beg for money or sold into the sex trade?

Well, recently when I browsed a Christian book store, scoping the wire racks for new tunes, it stands to reason I’d be drawn to the CompassionArt CD cover.

Although this project launched over a year ago, it still funnels all proceeds to charities already making inroads in the war against poverty. (Check them out here at That’s why I bought it. I felt like I lent a hand, in an infinitesimal way.

And then I got to enjoy the benefits of some great new (to me) music.

The good part is that we can all lend a hand to those engineers who have already built bridges in places we could never get to. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, start from scratch or struggle to build a one-man bridge. My donation may have been infinitesimal, but together with other infinitesimal donations, miracles can happen.

We can help others be the bridge.

Your local church is a good place to start. As a writer, I like the idea of CompassionArt, artists using their talents to produce tangible results for the poor. Some of you may support a child through Compassion International or volunteer for weekend Habitat for Humanity outreaches. Qualified and passionate bridge-builders are out there and could use our support.

So in addition to smiling at the grocery store clerk and sacrificing a little cash for that church member going through a rough time (being the bridge in your personal sphere of influence), look into helping others who’ve already built bridges build more bridges.

Impact the world.

What global engineers do you know about that need a little exposure? Tell us about them here on Dry Ground!


Deanna Gott said...

Thank you Lori! We are the body, lets act like it!

Marilyn said...

I can speak from personal experience with Compassion not only changes your child's life - it can change yours too. One thing that always makes a smile come to my face (even on tough days) is to open my mailbox and find a letter from one of my two kids. It may not be much in a world filled with billions of people, but I get to see how God uses and provides for me to help out two of them.