Here a couple of thoughts. Firstly, three cheers for Miss Winslet, Mr DiCaprio, and James Cameron who quietly and without fanfare did the best thing by supporting this woman in her need. This sounds very much like what Jesus asked his followers to do in the parable of the Sheep and the Goats... Mrs. Dean - a prisoner of her circumstance, a patient of age, in need of food and shelter. While the Hollywood threesome had no obligation to this grand dame of the legendary tragedy (the movie did not mention her and it could not be claimed that they profited by her particular story), they responded to her because they were the 'neighbors' who, through the circumstance of the making of their movie, came upon her in her need. They could have walked around her, ignoring her plight; but instead they responded and became the 'neighbors' Christ refered to in his parable which we know as "the Good Samaritan." They became the neighbor we are all obliged to be. We ougth to do what we can do and turn to God for what we cannot do.
Secondly, I love the observation that her life is a gift from God. A gift! Now, lets see... Her father was taken from her before she could remember him. Her hopes (carried for that moment by her family) for a secure and prosperous future dashed by an 'act of God.' Her fragile infant phyche marred by an early tragedy. I mean this is the stuff that phychology text books are written about. But all of this is casually refered to as a 'gift from God.' Marvelous! Marvelous because it really was a gift. Out of the tragedy is born blessing. On the other side of grief is joy. Passing through the ashes leads us to the beauty. Yes the OT prophet Isaiah had it right, and in this case so did Randolph Haas. We are given gifts from God. Some are beautiful to look at. Some are very ugly to see. And coming from God, these gifts disquised as tragedy, bring us to blessing. Blessing.
In the New Testament, the word blessing is generally comparable to the word happy. Happy, not pleasant. Happy, not fun. Happy, not profitable. There is one thing I have held onto from the book THE PRAYER OF JABEZ. I love Bruce Wilkenson's take on the Biblical idea of blessing. He says (loosely translated - sorry if I get it wrong Mr. Wilkinson) "blessing is the state of being right where God wants us to be, right when He wants us there." Wow! The most happy things we can experience are not things we get for ourselves... The most happy things in life are the things that God plans for us - good things and terrible things, pleasant things and trying things, fun and fearful, playful and painful, prosperous and costly. Happy where God wants us.
So, farewell Mrs. Dean. And thank you to the BBC for giving me something to consider as I follow Christ today.