High Noon Moments
We have a seeker service every Wednesday we call "Connections." We are doing a series on the intersection of film and faith entitled "Reel Spirituality" and have chronicled lessons from everything from "Napoleon Dynamite" to "O Brother Where Art Thou?" and this week we are discussing the classic Gary Cooper film, "High Noon."
If you haven't seen the film, shame on you -- go rent it now. I'll wait. (sound of humming) Back? Great! Since you've just seen it you know that it is about decisions. Will I do what is right even if I have to do it alone? Will I stand up for whatsoever things are pure, lovely, noble, etc. even if it means that I lose friends and family for doing so?
So here is the question of the day: what High Noon moments have you had? How did you decide to handle them? Want to share them with the group? I'll start:
It was at the University of Alabama in Birmingham back in the middle seventies. I was a scared teenager with an accent (and it wasn't southern) in a morning Anthropology class. There were a total of 147 people in the classroom and, for reasons which will soon become apparent, I will never forget that number. The professor was an aggressive atheist and relativist. On this morning he went on a tear for a full 45 minutes ridiculing the Bible, Christianity, the concept of God, etc. After his spleen had finishing venting and we were up to our frontal lobes in bile he turned to us and challenged, "Does anybody have a problem with anything I've been saying?"
Only one idiot in the room raised their hand. And I have no idea why it went up. I absolutely do not recall telling it to go up, but there it was, my hand, trembling, but raised. Yikes. He turned the full force of his glare on me (I think he must have practiced glaring at home in the mirror because he was -- credit to whom credit is due -- extremely good at it) and said, "And WHAT is your problem?"
I wish I could tell you that I stood up and silenced him with the power of my intellect, razor sharp wit, and a Colt .45 but, alas, it wasn't quite that way. I tried to speak but I had turned into SheepBoy: "W..w.w...welll, uuuuuuuuuhhhh, I... th...th...th...ink that uuuuuuuhhhh...." and so it went. I did what I could but it wasn't impressive and no one was trampled in the rush to the baptistry when I was done. Afterwards, shamed, I gathered my books with my head down and eased out of the room toward my car, intending to skip the rest of my classes when a couple of other students came up to me and said how much they appreciated me speaking up. They told me they agreed with me and were furious at the professor. My response was "Where were you?"
There have been other moments, but let that suffice. So... wanna share a High Noon story? Keep it brief, pithy and to the point. Of course, if no one shares then I will be stuck here in the middle of the dirt street on my own... again... but that's okay. I've still got my badge and my .45.