Christian Living


The Blind Side Spotlights Faith in Play

Not many Hollywood films can say that they promote Christian values, let alone center on Christian characters portrayed in a positive light. That’s where The Blind Side, the movie for which actress Sandra Bullock recently won an Oscar, is different. Based on the real-life, inspiration story of NFL player Michael “Big Mike” Oher, The Blind Side offers church-going and religion-avoiding audiences alike a chance to see what Christianity looks like in the flesh.

The faith-friendly tone is set as a coach is trying to convince officials at a Christian school to accept Big Mike’s application. Unable to pay the school tuition and unimpressive in his transcripts, Michael’s hopes of transferring seem slim. Coach Cotton challenges the decision-makers to practice their faith and give Michael a chance. As they question whether Michael would even qualify for the team because of his poor grades, the coach reminds them of their duty as Christians.

"Forget sports!” Cotton concedes. “Look at the wall,” motioning to a school seal behind him. “Christian! We either take that seriously or we paint over it. You don’t admit Michael Oher because of sports. You admit him because it’s the right thing to do.”

It’s this moving scene that jumpstarts Michael Oher’s incredible journey to becoming part of a loving family – the Tuohys.

Leigh Anne takes a Good Samaritan role in Michael’s life, one that eventually leads her from a nice lady who pays for his needs to Mom. Unwilling to allow the teen to live on the streets, she welcomes Michael into her home.

Her selfless love, and that of the family, toward Michael is especially poignant because of its basis in her faith in God. She demonstrates how we as Christians should meet the needs our neighbors.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27, NIV)

Though not technically an orphan, Michael’s druggie mom is completely absent from his life. Leigh Anne saw brokenness in his life and went beyond merely helping the troubled teen. She adopted him in her family, as if he were already her own son.

Before Jesus is betrayed by Judas and denied by Peter, he charged his disciples (present with him, and those who will follow him in the future) in the way they should treat each other.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35, NIV)

He’s basically saying that if we love each other, then someone will recognize it as God in us. And noticed they did. One particularly interesting outcome of this film is the effect it has had on the leading lady who plays Leigh Anne. Sandra Bullock not only won countless awards for her work in the movie, including the Academy Award, she also has been questioning her preconceptions about Christianity. In seeing the love and acceptance the Tuohys show for Michael, Bullock became face-to-face with real faith in action.

Many biblical themes are seen in The Blind Side. Besides its declaration that “with God all things are possible”, the film compels viewers to be mindful of others and to share His love with them – no matter what they look like or where they are from.

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16, NIV)

It’s going that extra step beyond paying for someone’s meal or volunteering at shelter. Michael’s story shows us that we are to open wide our arms to those in need of shelter, food, and love. And if we do, then the world will see Christ in us.

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