I rented "The Soloist" the other night On-Demand. First of all, what an amazing movie! I love watching movies based on true events and I did a little researching of my own and came to realize that the movie was very accurate. Mr. Nathaniel Anthony Ayers is a paranoid schizophrenic living on the streets of Los Angeles. Mr. Steven Lopez is a columnist for the LA Times who happens to come across Nathaniel playing the violin in the park. Always looking for a good story, Steve is intrigued by Mr. Ayers who obviously is homeless and a virtuoso all at the same time. Steve finds out that Nathaniel studied at The Julliard School in 1970 but dropped out. Mr. Lopez not only begins a column on Nathaniel but he also begins a friendship with him as well. A friendship that he later will refer to as
"the most meaningful friendship of my life, the one that I've learned the most from..."
Lopez tries to help Ayers. He gives him new instruments to play. music lessons and tries to get him to live in an apartment instead of the streets. But Mr. Ayers doesn't want to change. Unfortunately his illness keeps him from living a normal life and when his life as he knew it was compromised, he couldn't handle it. In the movie Nathaniel becomes physically violent with Steve at times and flies off the handle with fits of rage. Lopez receives some very good advice that I haven't been able to get out of my mind. His colleague who happens to be his ex-wife says to him,
"You can't heal Nathaniel, just be his friend and show up!"
There were many references to grace in the movie. I couldn't help but be saddened and emotionally drained as I watched the homeless people living in the streets. So many of them are mentally-ill. In researching the real-life Nathaniel I found out that he went through electric-shock therapy at a young age and refuses any type of medication now.
Sometimes there are people in my life who I feel need to be "healed". It could be a number of different things that I think they need delivered from but nonetheless they need to be changed in my opinion. And when the chips are down and everything is all out on the table and all parties have heard my opinions and know what I believe and why I believe it, sometimes I think God is calling me to,
"...be a friend and show up!"
because I am not going to heal anyone.
There was only one healer and his name is Jesus Christ.
As a follower of Christ I am called to love the loveless.
Show hope to the hopeless.
Be a friend to the friendless.
Be there when somebody needs you, even if you know that you're not going to "change" or "heal" them.
In other words,
"JUST SHOW UP!"