Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Wonder

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Wonder is the inspiring story of August Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a boy born with a facial deformity, who is entering the fifth grade. Up until this point, Auggie had been homeschooled and lived a relatively sheltered life often venturing outside with his astronaut helmet so no one could see his face. His parents, Nate (Owen Wilson) and Isabel (Julia Roberts), are aware of the difficult challenges Auggie will face and they do everything they can to prepare him for this moment.

Stephen Chbosky, who directed the fantastic The Perks of Being a Wallflower, does a nice job of navigating a story which could easily become predictable and filled with cliches. The film explores characters such as Auggie’s sister Via (Izabela Vidovic) and allows the viewer to experience the circumstances of the film from various perspectives. One should expect to feel empathy for Auggie going into the movie, but Chbosky presents the story in such a way that the viewer feels empathy for Auggie and several of the other characters as well.

Wonder is a story about several different virtues, but perhaps the greatest is courage. Auggie is bullied because he is different. When he begins school, most of the kids cannot see past his facial deformity. They don’t see him as a potential friend. They don’t even see him as human. To them, he carries the plague. He is a monster. It is not until someone has the courage to break down this wall that others begin to see Auggie for who he truly is.

There are aspects of Wonder that are predictable because this is a storyline that has been used many times before. However, it is a storyline we need to continue to hear because human beings still struggle with the issues explored in this film. We think of our opponents as less than human, and we fail to see them as individuals created in the image of God. What the world needs desperately is people of courage who are willing to break the barriers that are erected by others so we can see people for who they are.

It is somewhat ironic that Wonder is opening the same weekend as Justice League. Your children will likely be eager to see a new superhero movie, but let me encourage you to take them to see Wonder. They will enjoy it because it is a movie about kids and there are some pleasant surprises including the appearance of a Star Wars character or two, but more importantly they will learn about real justice. They will learn how to treat other people the way they should be treated.

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