Mud Pies & Kites

On Friday, I watched the first two hours of my film Mud Pies and Kites with a film editor. We are contemplating using the footage from the 3 hour and 30 minute long epic film on Haiti to re-cut two new films. Out of the 22 films I’ve made, Mud Pies and Kites is the most profound, most personal and most visual film of them all. Yet few have seen it in its entirety because it is either too long or too hard to watch the excruciating suffering. Nonetheless, hidden in all the footage are some truly wonderful spiritual reflections which we hope to repackage into a more accessible film. As I watched the film for the first time in three years, my heart was broken again. At one point during the viewing I became overwhelmed by sadness and started to cry. It came during a scene titled “A Soothing Ray of Light,” which comes early in Part Two of the film during Holy Week of 2010, just three months after the devastating earthquake from which the poor have still not recovered. In this scene, I was visiting the destroyed major seminary where nearly 100 professors and seminarians lost their lives. The scene opens with me on camera at a mass grave site. The camera follows me as I walk through the rubble picking up various objects, such as books on faith. At one point I actually entered the destroyed seminary. When I reached the kitchen area I spoke on camera about how I felt about being inside the ruined building. The large rats scarred me. As I continued to walk thought the haunting ruins, my voice over narration offers these words of reflection:

The quiet of the deserted
and destroyed seminary
afforded me a few minutes of silence
to pray and ponder all that I had seen.

To be back the middle of intense suffering,
in the middle of death,
was deeply distressing.
Despite some of the good things
happening since the day
the earthquake struck,
Haiti seemed to be pushing me
toward a sense of absolute hopelessness.
What am I doing?
Is any of this –
my films, my books, my speaking engagements –
making any difference?

It’s my hope
that my work
has added a little something
to the reality of God’s
all-inclusive love and mercy.
Still, how can I even begin to fix
the poverty I see around me
when I do not truly see
the poverty within me?
The more I see of life,
the less answers I have.
It is all such an unfathomable mystery…
life and death, love and hatred,
joy and sadness, health and sickness,
prosperity and poverty, laughter and tears.
Yet God, through Christ,
is in all of it,
except hatred, of course.
It is all part of
the magnificent complexity
of the mystery of creation.

In light of this mystery
I can only pray…

Lord, help me grow in humility,
help me to confess my own brokenness.
Help me move out of my world of illusion
and self-centered desires
and into Your universe of
love, joy and peace.

Transform my brokenness,
I beg You,
into a new life in You,
the true source of strength and wholeness.

Help me, Lord, remove everything
that blocks me
from joyfully living the good news
of the paschal mystery.
O awesome and transcendent God,
free me from the slavery of my sinfulness.

In my prison of darkness,
Your unmerited grace is a soothing ray of light.

I carried the sadness of the film with me throughout the weekend…it made watching the Super Bowl difficult. But it reminded me of my need to say that heart-felt prayer every day.

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2 Responses to “Mud Pies & Kites”


  1. 1 Stuart Robertson February 3, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Lovely.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. 2 Joan Krebs February 3, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Thanks Gerry. Somehow & w/o prodding my mind & heart are making the move into a lenten mode. This gave impetus to the shift. It’s exactly what I saw in both your book and the DVD – a call for entering the mystery of our faith, for the need to rise from death into life, the need to answer a call of hope when confronted by the rubble of dreams denied. Thanks from down deep, Gerry.


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