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Precious: The Grace in Small Acts of Kindness…

16/11/2009

Precious: The Grace in Small Acts of Kindness…

“Grace is the absence of everything that indicates pain or difficulty, hesitation or incongruity.” William Hazlitt

GodsGrace by night86mare Flickr

God's Grace: Prevails... by Night86mare via Flickr

When someone walks in and shatters your life at 12, 21 or any age, it takes tremendous grace to turn away from taking the road to abject despair, to finding the courage to regroup and rebuild a life. It also takes a simple, small gesture of kindness, the grace of a hug, a smile, a tender glance, a comforting word, to steer one away from misery to the miraculous… The film Precious is a miracle of grace; the grace shared through small acts of kindness.

Precious is the newly released film about the compelling story of a young woman, Claireece “Precious” Jones, who overcomes a life of despicable terror at the hands of her parents and triumphs in the face of incredible obstacles. The movie is a riveting adaptation of the powerful novel, PUSH, by author/poet/activist Sapphire.

As protagonist, the 16 year old, African-American, Harlem raised teen, Precious, personifies both everything we abhor and fear we might become; a victim of incest, child abuse, depraved parents, pregnant with her father’s 2nd child, overweight, illiterate, HIV positive, homophobic, xenophobic, self-hating, and everything we champion her to become; courageous, accomplished and free from oppression.

“God appoints our graces to be nurses to other men’s weaknesses.” Henry Ward Beecher

Push2009SundancePremiereviaGoogleImages

Sundance Premiere via Zimbio/Google Images: Gabby Sidibe, Mariah Carey, Lee Daniels, Mo'Nique and Paula Patton

Watch CBS News Videos Online Katie Interview with Sapphire

According to the author Sapphire, in a recent interview with Katie Couric on CBS, Precious is a composite of many young women, (and perhaps older women), she met/knew during the years she taught/counseled young women who were survivors of horrific abuse. These women though damaged by abuse and deep in the recovery process, had such strong spirits of defiance and a will to survive that it helped give the author the impetus to create her classic novel ~ PUSH.

While the name Precious might seem ironic for a character that is treated as irrelevant and suffers horrific abuse, her name should be a constant reminder to all of us to treat each other with compassion and care. If we are galvanized to, at least, identify/report abuse and help another find hope and a chance at life, then, we have made a great difference in someone’s life.

Precious speaks for those silent and/or silenced by abuse and God’s grace and people’s grace guide her to push past her hurt and accomplish what she is destined to do and become. We can all be angels of light on this journey called life and every random act of kindness reverberates throughout the earth and touches many others in its stead. The grace in small things endures.

“Grace has been defined as the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.” William Hazlitt

Refracted Mandala

Refracted Mandala: We Stumble towards Light with varying degrees of Grace

For Precious, the grace and blessings in small things came through acts of selflessness and kindness shown to her by others; the teacher (Ms. Rain) who diligently helps her learn to read; the social worker (Mrs. Weiss) and nurse (Kravitz’s character) who encourage her to both seek help and find her own inner courage and goodness. Each person offered a glimpse of hope, a moment of grace to push Precious forward in her journey to redemption from oppression and dysfunction. It takes one person to step forward and extend a helping hand to another soul…

The generosity others showed Precious in the film reminded me of an incident many years ago, before ATMs, when I found myself stranded in a big city with no means to get back to my original destination. I walked into a bank, quite distraught, and a kind teller gave me just enough to get me home. She graciously accepted the check I gave her, drawn on another bank, but never cashed it. Her kindness has stayed with me.

“Grace is from our side a choice, from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High. Our ”accepting” and ”willing” are reactions rather than actions. The right of determination must always remain with God.” A. W. Tozer

Glass Mandala lotus by Suki Quin

Glass Mandala Lotus: The Grace in all Things... via Suki Quin

A spiritual teacher once said that when we pray or ask for grace, we must seek the highest good and ask for God’s grace and people’s grace. After all, it is at each others hands that we learn to love, experience life, see the face and grace of God.

Where has grace touched you? Who has shown you a small act of kindness, a much needed glance? Who have you helped today? Share your thoughts.

PHOTO CREDITS
God’s Grace by Night86mare ~ via Flickr
Precious Sundance Premiere ~ via Zimbio/Google Images
Refracted Mandala by F. Decomite – via Flickr/Google Images
Glass Mandala lotus by Suki Quin ~ via Google Images
Videos ~ via CBS News and YouTube

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. 17/11/2009 4:11 am

    hello elizabeth,

    how are you? I found this article amazing. It definitely speaks to ones heart and mind. This statement ‘We can all be angels of light on this journey called life and every random act of kindness reverberates throughout the earth and touches many others in its stead’ made me think deeply. I have been shown little acts of kindness many times and i find myself being so grateful. I may be wrong but I choose to live each day making use of every opportunity to show kindness either at work, home, with friends etc.
    Great post once again.

    Like

    • 18/11/2009 5:45 pm

      Thank you Ayo,
      Your generous comments remind me how wonderfully blessed we are and how terrific blogging can be.
      Friends from far and wide gather to encourage each other; like you said, an opportunity to show kindness. 🙂
      Cheers,
      Eliz

      Like

  2. Goz permalink
    18/11/2009 6:49 am

    A beautiful reminder of the things that truly matter in life..the grace to touch another life positively for example and make a difference, no matter how small.. When we get all caught up in the pursuit of the bigger house, newer car, fame, power,etc it’s so easy to forget that all we *need* is relationship and the love that fuels it..

    Like

    • 18/11/2009 5:49 pm

      Thank you Goz,
      I appreciate the thoughtful comments and totally agree that “all we *need* is relationship and the love that fuels it..” Well said. When are you starting your blog? 😉
      Cheers,
      E 🙂

      Like

  3. 20/11/2009 10:08 am

    This post is kind of too difficult English for me to really understand it. But I agree with the part about building relationship and show kindness to each other, mentioned in the comments.

    A friend of mine says on his blog.”There is a wealth of useful content in the comments on many posts”. I totally agree with him. I’ve asked his permission to use that same content he has about this. I just got his permission to use it.

    Like

    • 22/11/2009 4:41 pm

      True Deana. Your bring up a very good point that sometimes we learn new ways of looking at a blog post from the observations of others comments. This piece is about remembering the small kindnesses we experience in life as seen through the eyes of Precious, a young woman in a newly released movie. You should check it out if/when it gets released outside the USA. It’s a very touching and powerful movie. Thank you! 😉

      Like

  4. Robenson permalink
    19/05/2010 10:52 am

    Hey – nice blog, just looking around some blogs, seems a pretty nice platform you are using. I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my sites but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it?

    Like

    • 27/05/2010 2:18 pm

      I love WordPress and the fact that they have a wide range of themes and templates is great. I would suggest you look at the selection and preview/try out a few before choosing a final one! Thanks for visiting! 🙂

      Like

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