Over the New Year’s holiday, we had a movie marathon, watching three movies back-to-back on the new Blu-ray player that we gave ourselves for Christmas. We watched not just the movies but all the extras on the disc, including the deleted scenes, directors’ comments, interviews with the actors, and even the trailers. It is fascinating to see the meticulous work and creativity that goes into telling a story in an unforgettable manner.
In fact, we enjoy the accounts of how the movies were made as much as the movies themselves. The actors clearly loved talking about the complexity of the characters they were depicting, and the directors loved talking about the layers of meaning in the story they wanted to tell. The final proof of the directors’ skill, however, was nowhere more evident than in the scenes they decided to cut out. Viewing these deleted scenes, I sometimes agreed with the directors’ judgment that the scene didn’t really advance the story line, but in other instances, it was only when I saw what had ended up on the “cutting room floor” that I came to a full understanding of the story.
During the holidays, several real life stories were playing out in the news, and none more compelling than the Tiger Woods drama. The nation was stunned at the rapid and total disintegration of Tiger’s public image. Later, it became apparent that his entire life — marriage, family, career — were, perhaps, irreparably damaged. On “Fox News Sunday,” January 3, veteran newsman Brit Hume talked about Tiger Woods’ situation and said that only a relationship with Jesus Christ offers true healing and forgiveness. Most Americans understand the ramifications of such a public fall from grace and the personal destruction and fallout that inevitably follows — we’ve seen it in the Scriptures, and we’ve witnessed it before among those we know. That is what made the startling commentary by Brit Hume so authentic, timely, and poignant.
“Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person, I think, is a very open question … the extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He’s said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be: ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’”