I was flipping through the television channels yesterday, enjoying the glut of bad holiday movies when I came across A Walk to Remember with Mandy Moore and some other dude. I had heard it was a good movie, so I settled in to watch. Sure, it seems wholesome, but there was one glaring thing that bugged me the whole time I watched it. Mandy Moore’s character, who happens to be a Christian, is portrayed as a repressed, mealy-mouthed, bookworm do-gooder who wears shapeless dresses and no makeup. Ew, ew, ew. It made me sick to think that Christians are portrayed in this manner. Not that there aren’t plenty of folks who help enforce Hollywood’s view of those who put their faith in Christ, but last time I checked, Christ came so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. So what does it say about Christians when we are portrayed as lifeless? There was one scene that I loved in that movie. The scene where the girl is in the play, and she’s got some makeup and a nice dress on for the part she’s playing. But it’s not about either of those. It’s when she gets up and sings a song (a beautiful rendition of Switchfoot’s Only Hope.) For a moment, there’s a glimmer of what she could be, before it fades back to gray.
Some of the way we’re portrayed is our own fault. We have held grudges and acted gracelessly toward those who need grace. We put strictures on ourselves and others, and we make a list of things we should and shouldn’t do. It becomes a burden on our shoulders, a weight around our necks. There are things we shouldn’t do, but but when we love God, obedience becomes an outpouring of our love. I would love to say A Walk to Remember is a bad representation of Christians, but it’s closer to the truth in some than I would like to admit.