An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
I’m sitting here in my vanpool contemplating a thoughtful little movie I just watched called Henry Poole is here.
It is a film that tries to find some middle ground between the blatancy of 1950’s era 10 Commandments and the far more common modern films either devoid or harshly cynical of faith. That said, the film rarely confronts the issue of God’s existence – though it is rather implied – but the characters certainly do not. SomeTHING is happening...not SomeONE. It does the best that it can to deal with religious faith while still remaining accessible to an ever expanding demographic of faithlessness. By this I mean to say, you cannot make a movie these days in which God is real in any traditional sense and be expected to be taken seriously.
Ironically, the filmmakers’ optimistic study on faith is centered upon an object of much scorn and laughter: a “miraculous” water stain upon the stucco of a southern California house. We have the obligatory lack of a personal God involved in the “miracles”, a way out for the faithless – though with a big question mark, some holes in the plot, and even a quote from Noam Chomsky about how somethings are inexplicable. I grimaced a little at Patience’s explanation of the power of faith, it seemed to be something both a New Ager and a Word-Faith Christian could affirm. And really, you think maybe you could have found a better quote than Noam Chomsky’s? Blech!
But, I still found the movie delightful. Some more nuanced than myself may find it simplistic, but I thought their were some very powerful scenes about the struggle and triumph of faith and it was more than enough to make me overlook the film’s failings.