A lesbian main character, college students partying and smoking pot, a setting where the character is told he can't escape himself. That the human dilemma must be experienced. Sounds like a pretty typical movie, right?
How about a line in a movie that says, "If you ever plan on making friends, or sharing a bowl, or seeing a human vagina without a credit card, get in the closet Baptist boy. And stay there." Not too shocking, right?
What if I told you this film was made by Christians?
Today I went to Wal-Mart specifically to buy the movie Blue Like Jazz. That's a sentence I never thought I'd type. Only in my beautiful sleepy dreams would Blue Like Jazz become more than a book I purchased and gave to every Christian I met. Now it's something that can reach an ever larger audience. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
If you don't know anything about Blue Like Jazz, download the book by Donald Miller to your Kindle or Ipad immediately. I'd say go to Barnes and Noble or Walden Books, but most of those don't exist anymore. You'll have to download it. But that's okay. It's 2012, you know.
Long story not as long, Donald Miller is one of the most honest and creative Christian thinkers who makes words eloquent and raw at the same time on paper, and now on film. His book Blue Like Jazz is a New York Times bestseller, and now a movie. The film had the momentum and creative behind it to begin filming, and then key investors decided stock in Apple or Coach or something that was more secure, and pulled from the project. As a result, some crazy fans make a Kickstarter video and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to save Blue Like Jazz. Incredible. I wish I had thought of it.
With performances from Marshall Allman, Tania Raymonde, Claire Holt, Ryne Hambright, and Steve Taylor directing, this movie proves it didn't cut corners. But this isn't a movie review.
I just want to say, FINALLY.
This is a mile marker for Christian sub-culture, a trail blazer. For what, you ask?
For Christians to be human. In public.
Doubt. Questions. Searching. Becoming. Mistakes. Anger. Resentment. Civil Disobedience. Passion. Motivation. Curiosity. Starting over. Starting for the first time.
Too often Christians feel, at least I feel, like I can't be human in front of people. Like I have to have it together or you'll think my God is too much of a pansy to fix me or give me faith. I feel like I have to have answers for suffering or why private business owners exercise their first amendment rights because I don't want you to think I hate people. I don't want you to think God hates people. He doesn't, you know. He also wouldn't wear a Christian t-shirt. Just throwing that one out there. That one is for free.
But this movie is the first of it's kind that says we are human. We believe in God, and we have questions. We don't always believe what we know in our hearts to be true because a broken world doesn't always reflect a perfect God. "We all have our crap." And if it's okay for everyone else to be human and be part of a functioning society, then maybe it's okay for Christians, too.
Just like real live people, sometimes Christian film makers feel like they have to wrap things up in a nice little bow at the end of Christian movies so you don't feel if there's no positive resolution, then God isn't real. We don't want you to think God isn't real, because He is. But sometimes, there is no bow. There's just no neat package.
Blue Like Jazz has no bow.
I don't have answers for everything either. I don't have answers for most things. I question more than I answer. Eventually, I hope I have faith in more than I have questions. And if that's the case for you, it's okay. God doesn't wrap presents. God sustains. He authors. He perfects.
I just thought it was time you know.
Now go watch this movie so you know what I'm talking about.