Still a Child of God

Still a Child of God

A few months ago, I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which, incidentally, should have been called The Curiously Long Case of Benjamin Button. And though the film rambled, there was a line early on that struck me.

Benjamin, a baby born elderly, is abandoned on the steps of a bustling retirement home. Queenie, a compassionate and iron-willed African-American who works there, discovers the bundle. As she pulls back the blanket and sees the aged and withered newborn, she recoils. But curiosity gets the better of her. Leaning down for a closer look, something changes within her. Unable to conceive a child herself, she smiles at Benjamin as a mother would and says, rather bluntly, “You’re as ugly as an old pot, but you’re still a child of God.”

Simple, yet profound.

That statement stayed with me for days and resonated even more loudly after Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University student, threw himself off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly filmed him kissing another man and broadcast the event over the Internet. The fact that Clementi was gay is immaterial: He was still a child of God—a member of our human family. I wonder still if he knew that himself.

I try to keep that phrase at hand in life. And it isn’t always easy.

Slow drivers on the road, telemarketers calling at dinnertime—or ever, surly bank tellers: They are still a child of God. And when I’m the aggressor and tap-dancing on the nerves of everyone around me, yep, it’s true: I’m still a child of God, flaws and all.

It was a passing line from a film I didn’t even care for. But the sentiment of that phrase—powerful in its simplicity—is something that could change the world.

*****

Photo: graur razvan ionut

 
 

About the Author

Christopher Heffron is the associate editor and social media editor of St. Anthony Messenger magazine, and the manager of its digital edition. He is also the editor of AmericanCatholic.org, StAnthonyMessenger.org, and this blog site.
 
 
 
  • http://www.americancatholic.org jahunt

    Excellent post!

  • http://www.americancatholic.org Lindsey Simmons

    What a great post, Chris. I love it. :)

  • http://www.americancatholic.org Susan Hines-Brigger

    Great insight. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.americancatholic.org Brandon Kilby

    If only more people realized this. Great post.

  • http://www.americancatholic.org SLDigman

    Bravo! Clap-clap! I totally agree, Chris. We all need to show more love for each other, build into one another. We never know what even a simple smile might do for someone!

  • http://www.americancatholic.org Lisa Biedenbach

    You’ve spurred me to catch this film the next time I see it on Direct TV. Thanks!

  • cjw

    This is very well written. And it’s very true. Good job!

  • simonb

    Agreed, it was a long movie but you pulled the most important line from the movie. Great blog, Christopher!

  • http://www.americancatholic.org JeanneK

    What a great reminder to each of us.

  • Karen Janisch

    Your blog reminds us that we are called to love our neighbor. Thanks for a great reflection.

  • Rachel Perez

    Beautiful reflection. THank you!!!

  • Terrence Higgins

    Thanks for this.

  • Diane Richards

    My good friend was the victim of a hate crime in 1997. This blog is so true. We are all a child of god.

  • Simon Farrow

    Beautiful! Now I have to see the movie

  • Tessa Hafner-Thompson

    Thank you Christopher. This is an important reminder.

  • Earnest Keicher

    Thanks for the ideas, ta!

  • PegC

    I loved that movie! But great sentiment. So true.

  • Christopher Heffron

    Thank you, one and all, for the kind words!