Such a simple word that holds so much weight to it. Beautiful. It reminds me of the hymn my church used to sing when I was growing up:
How beautiful the hands that served—Twila Paris, How Beautiful
The wine and the bread
And the sons of the earth
How beautiful the feet that walked
The long dusty roads
And the hill to the cross
If you have never heard of the song, stop right now and just listen to at least the first minute or two. Personally, I love it, now it may be because of nostalgia but it just gives me this sense of peace and comfort of God’s beauty. The beauty of the body of Christ.
I’m reminded of this hymnal because this past weekend I finished David Sheff’s book Beautiful Boy: a father’s journey through his son’s addiction, and it kind of wrecked me. But in a good way. I know. “You’ve already talked about this..just MOVE ON.” okay, okay, okay. But just hear me out, one last time on this and I’ll never mention it again…maybe. No promises. But before I dive deeper into my experience with this book I want to give you an experience with the story; so…watch this trailer for the movie first:
Powerful, right? What sticks out to me most is this relationship between a father and a son. It is captivating. One of my favorite, if not my all time favorite, quote from the movie is one that we hear parts of towards the end of this trailer and the complete quote is this:
Do you know how much I love you?
If you could take all the words in the language,
it still wouldn’t describe how much I love you.
And if you could gather all those words together,
it still wouldn’t describe what I feel for you.
What I feel for you is everything.
I love you more than everything.
—David Sheff, Beautiful Boy
This memoir dives into the addiction story of Nic Sheff, son of David Sheff, and what their relationship is in their past, present, and possibly future. Now, their story is not for the faint of heart, it is a hard story filled with emotions. I found myself being angry, sorrowful, joyful, happy, confused, in fact at one point I threw the book to the other side of the room (sorry Abilene Public Library) and then cradling the book and thinking for an hour. “All this for a book?”
Just imagine what it was like watching the movie. I may be an overly expressive person, which is totally true, in fact my housemates would testify in court that I am. But through these stories I have been pushed to pursue reconciliation and seek truth about myself and about the God that I serve.
Now, one of the things that bothered me about the movie shortly after reading the book is that the movie never really goes into detail about Nic’s relationship with Karen, his step mom, nor David’s relationship with Jasper, his other son. Although, you can see it play out in the movie, the movie never quite goes deeper than a few shots. Course, there is only so much you can film in order for it not to be three or four hours long…whatever, I loved those moments. But I cherish the moment between David and Nic, when David sings John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy to Nic while tucking him in bed. I can’t find the clip, but imagining a father tucking you in while singing this song is breathtaking:
Before you cross the street—John Lennon, Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
Take my hand
It’s calming. To know that someone is watching over you. I remember growing up when my grandmother, Meemee as I call her, would sing a song while tucking me in. I don’t remember any songs that she sang but I do know that whenever she did I felt watched over, that there was nothing that would keep her from loving me.
Now, I feel that way about all of my family members, but there is something vulnerable about singing over someone. There are few times when I have felt like that and one of those times I was by myself, or really, I was physically by myself. There was a time in high school my senior year where I could not sleep because of some anxiety inducing circumstances and I just begged God to give me just a little rest, and this feeling that someone was singing over me swept me. I slept so well. I was given rest.
Before you think I’m crazy, which I already know I am, I did not hear a voice, it was just a rush of comfort and peace. There have been few times where I feel like this and this song reminds me of those moments.
“Though it is not a solution, openness is a relief. Our shared stories help us remember what we’re dealing with. Addicts need ongoing reminders and support, and so do their families. It helps to read others’ stories. And it helps to write, at least it did for me. As I said, I wrote frantically. I wrote in the middle of the night and made it to morning. If I were a painter like Karen, I would have painted what I was going through. She often did. I wrote.”—David Sheff, Beatutiful Boy: a father’s journey through his son’s addiction
I love this quote. Mostly because it really gives weight to the claim that processing is necessary in your journey. But I would go a step further that not only do addicts and their families need reminders but everyone does. We all do. Because to some extent we all struggle with something. Now, I may have wrote about this quote in an earlier blog, but as I dove deeper into the story of David and Nic Sheff it became all the more evident that it really is important to take these steps. To write. To process however you process. To create something. To put your energy somewhere that will build something positive and nothing negative.
Earlier this week, Catherine Baumgardner, a theatre professor at ACU led a chapel at ACU Theatre. It was awesome. She spoke a lot about spiritual warfare and her journey but also what we need to equip ourselves with, and there were quite a few things that stuck out to me that I want to share.
“As an actor it is foolish that you can control your thought life during those moments but in day to day life you give it up to evil.”
“I am not a child of Satan. I am a child of God.”
“Why not fight for what will make you feel better?”—Catherine Baumgardner
These nuggets of truth and wisdom, albeit obvious, just snapped my attention to look at the spiritual warfare in my life. One of the verses that Catherine was teaching off of comes from 2 Corinthians:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”—2 Corinthians 10:3-6
We have the power to wage war and destroy the lies of Satan and his tactics. We have the responsibility to punish disobedience with the love of Christ. That we are made complete only with Christ and nothing else. It is through this that we can pursue our God and be made complete with our heavenly Father.
Our Father who fulfills the love that our hearts so desires.
It has been a long week for me personally and these are things that my heart is struggling with. Pray for me as I walk in wisdom and seek what God has for my life.
with God I take the Journey Onward.
Although the week has been difficult check out some awesome things that happened nonetheless:
Bright Star rehearsals have started!! Keep an eye out for more info coming soon!! We open April 11th and run from 11th-13th, 26th-27th!
Yes…Stage Makeup is an actual class I take in school. Pretty awesome, right?
And finally… One of the coolest performances I have ever seen given by Crystal Rae. A pieces she wrote and performed herself on Sunday night at ACU Theatre for those of us who were lucky to see it.