RE: View | Beautiful Boy

Last Saturday, while Sweet T and I were enjoying the long Thanksgiving weekend, we had the chance to check out a couple of movies we’d both wanted to see. Sweet T and I love movies and intriguing TV shows. It’s not unusual for us to binge watch episodes of our latest favorite program. For example, right now we’re getting caught up on “Mr. Robot” via Amazon Prime. These days, we don’t seem to go out to the movies as often as we once did, certainly not as frequently as we did growing up. As a kid, I loved going to movies and loved film. It wasn’t unusual for me to go to the local cinema and check out a couple of movies.

One of the movies we saw was the Queen biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The other movie we checked out was “Beautiful Boy,” starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet as a father and son struggling through the hardships of addiction. The movie is based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff. Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family trudging through the rollercoaster ride of addiction.

With both of us having our own different subjective experiences with addicts and addiction, Sweet T and I found the film challenging. Much of the story rang true, drudging up old memories, albeit from our own unique perspectives.

The movie, directed by Belgian filmmaker Felix Van Groeningen, focuses more on the parental perspective of David Scheff, thoughtfully portrayed by Carell, and the blended points of view of his current wife Karen (played by Maura Tierney) and Vicki, Scheff’s ex-wife performed by actress Amy Ryan. The film intertwines Nic Scheff’s story, told from his book “Tweak,” with the memoir written by David, “Beautiful Boy.”

The movie does an excellent job accurately displaying the juxtaposition between the euphoria of being high and the down spiraling downspout of dependency. The film flows between past and present, depicting the hopes associated with sobriety and the dark dirge of repeated relapses.

This is how addiction unfolds. It happens over time. None of us know before we start if we will be addicts. No one intends to be an addict. You buy the lie that you have it all under control, each time going further than the time before when you swore you were done. The film paints an honest picture of the step-by-step fall Nic and other addicts experience as they tumble further into the deep destitute of drug dependence.

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I think it is a film worth seeing for anyone working with addicts or who has experienced addiction—either as an addict or as someone struggling to find answers for their addicted loved one. It’s not a feelgood movie but it does offer a faint light of hope. There are other options available to an addict other than jail or dying from the consuming disease of addiction. The addict’s family can be restored and find a new normal. But it’s not an easy road. And certainly, it’s a road fraught with potholes and obstacles set to veer all lives involved off track. Addiction doesn’t just destroy the user; it decimates anyone in proximity, like a mad hand grenade or renegade IED.

The Devotional Guy™

 

What Are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the blessings God has bestowed on us. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season? 

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 118:1 (ESV)

Amid the strife and divide permeating nearly every aspect of our society, you and I have a lot to be grateful and thankful for. Ours is truly an age like no age before it. Sure, we could focus on what we don’t have, but what’s the point in that? We need to focus on what we have, not on what’s missing in our lives. 

God made you just the way you are. There is no one else who can quite be you like you. Life is precious. Don’t waste it caught up in trying to obtain treasures that rust. Acquire those things that are eternal, that last beyond this lifetime. 

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Live life in praise. Don’t gloat and don’t mope. Neither are good attitudes positionally or eternally. God’s got you. Don’t ever doubt that. Even when you’re walking through the fire and enduring a tumultuous storm. Keep your eyes on Jesus, trusting Him to see you through whatever adversity you are facing. 

I am thankful.

I’m thankful for my life and my beautiful wife, Sweet T. I’m grateful for our families and our four-legged fur babies. I’m overwhelmed with joy at being used by God as a vessel for delivering the Gospel. I am grateful for recovery and second chances. I am happy to have the opportunity every day to motivate someone to be and do better. I’m thankful for God’s grace and mercy. He is so good, it’s unfathomable much of the time. I am thankful for friends—new and old—they make life better. I’m grateful for you—the reader—who takes time to reflect on the words I’ve written. 

What are you thankful for?

Praying you and your family will have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

 

Freeing Your Today from Yesterday’s Pain

Several years ago, Sweet T and I had the opportunity to tour Israel, including Jerusalem. One of the places we visited is the legendary healing pools of Bethesda. In biblical times, seas of hurting and disabled people swarmed around the porticoes because of the healing properties believed to be in the water. Perhaps the warmth of the water combined with a high mineral content had medicinal benefits that alleviated the suffering from various hurts, aches, and pains. As we saw them, the pools had long ago been abandoned. Yet, standing in the place where Jesus is said to have performed his third miracle was humbling and awe-inspiring. The name Bethesda, or Bethsaida, means “House of Mercy.”

John 5:1-9a (ESV)

1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, Do you want to be healed? 7 The sick man answered him, Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me. 8 Jesus said to him, Get up, take up your bed, and walk. 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

We see Jesus find a man who had been left unable to walk by his disease for nearly 40 years. Jesus asks the man, “Do you want to be healed?”

This rich question recognizes that some people are happiest when living in their misery. Some of us are happy living in our spiritual mess. We don’t want to be healed. From this passage, it becomes clear that Jesus only wants to heal those wanting to be healed. He’s not forcing the man to accept His healing. Thankfully, the man chooses to receive it. And then, immediately upon the man’s acceptance of Christ’s healing offer, Jesus instructs the man to get up, pick up his mat, and walk. And we see the man stand up, take his mat and leave. He is healed, freed from yesterday’s pain. Hallelujah!

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When Jesus first encountered the man, the man was in bad shape. His condition was serious and his situation seemed hopeless. But Jesus transformed all of that, instantaneously restoring the man to good health. The man could have refused the gift Jesus offered him. The man could have chosen to stay mired in pain and chained to his suffering. But, wisely, he decided to accept Jesus’ healing power and once he was healed, left his past behind, and stepped into his new future.

Don’t let your past pains paralyze your present day. Accept the healing God offers, make your amends where you need to, and move forward into the future.

#healing #recovery #pain

The Devotional Guy™stray-3478096_1920