How does going to the cinema help me hear God?

Sitting in a cinema is a privileged time which we often take for granted.

Recently I went to see the new film Lion with Dev Patel.  It tells of five year old Saro, who gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. He must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.

As I sat and watched the film, Rope's partners work with children like Saro, living at Sealdah railway station in Kolkata, suddenly came to mean so much more to me. 

But why was that I asked myself?

I have seen pictures of the children our partners help and read their stories.  I have been inspired by the great work they are doing helping these often drug addicted children to gain healing and a chance of a new life. 

So why did it take a film to really make me understand deeply? I suppose one of my challenges being an Englishman is really gaining a deeper understanding of their culture. The way children are often treated in India and why so many are abandoned and left to live a hand to mouth existence at a railway station.  Then it’s really feeling the need. We have seen starving and poor people for so long, that I think we have become immune to it.  I know I have been guilty of that. We get overwhelmed with so many needs - especially at Rope - and constant requests from great causes.

Discerning is incredibly hard and sometimes very painful.

I am challenged biblically to respond to the needs of people I come into contact personally but also in my role as CEO of Rope.  Sometimes I have to decide where we should support when there are to our money and resources.    The central theme I try and remember, but don’t always get right, is I am called to be church wherever I am - not just in my interactions with others but also in my giving financially. 

It is the same for all of us.

Church is not just the building but the acts of kindness and love as well as practical support. The only way I have ever found that works for me is to regularly seek fellowship with good people and make sure we are all listening to God. God certainly calls us to respond to needs we see all around us, but also to listen to Him to get the direction in which we should do that. That works for me individually and in my role at Rope. It's not easy and there are no instant answers but listening to God just helps us to focus on where our hearts are.

So the simply act of going to the cinema and seeing an incredibly moving film about the reality of living in poverty enabled God to remind me that I need to keep listening to Him to help see the solutions.

Guatam's story

Click on the link above to read about our partner's work with street children in Kolkata.

Church Visits

Jay is available to speak about the work of Rope at a church group.  If you would like him to visit your church, please click on the link above and contact us.