The Impossible

The Impossible offers exquisite moments that reveal the human soul. If you ever cry at a movie, have some Kleenex along for The Impossible. This film follows the struggling survivors of one family in Thailand through the aftermath of the great tsunami of 2004.

Here are two poignant moments that won’t spoil the movie for you:

First, on the morning after Christmas, a giant wave stomped on the vacationing family’s hotel. The mother and oldest son are swept away in the raging waters, and when they are reunited, the mother is badly wounded and slowly bleeding to death. Struggling to find their way to help, Marie (the mother) and 12-year-old Lucas hear a child’s voice in the distance. Lucas wants to press toward safety, but Marie wants to help the child.

Marie asks, “What if it’s Simon or Thomas [your younger brothers]?”

“Simon and Thomas are dead!” Lucas shouts.

“Even if it’s the last thing we do,” Marie whispers. She lets go of logic and argues directly from her moral core.

Second, through persistence, providence and the compassion of strangers, Lucas helps his mother reach a hospital. The tsunami has produced a floodtide of patients, and Marie is sandwiched into a closet, desperately in need of medical attention.

Despite her anguish and weakness, Marie unbelievably tells her son to leave her, “Lucas, go and help people. You’re good at it.”

Twelve years old, in a strange country, in a chaotic hospital, with his mother badly wounded, Lucas asks the utterly reasonable question, “What should I do?”

“Anything!” Marie answers.

This simple response empowers Lucas to offer real help to people. He is not credentialed for anything. He has no resources to leverage. He gives himself, and he makes a difference.

So, today: Go and help people. You’re good at it!

What should you do?


About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
This entry was posted in communication, culture, public square and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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