A Character to Keep

This week a good movie came out on video that I think everyone should see, (if they want to.) Stranger than Fiction, is an offbeat romantic comedy starring Will Farrell. The movie is about an author who is trying to complete a book where the main character, Harold Crick, an obsessive IRS agent, is also a real person. The author doesn’t know it, but as she writes the narrative, Harold can hear her. The author has always killed the hero at the end of her stories. The problem is that Harold knows what is coming. Eventually he is able to find out who the narrator is and meets her just after she has completed the story that ends in his death. She allows him to read the story. It is a masterpiece. He is convinced that it’s the right thing to do to allow her to “write him out of the story.” 

In the end, she has mixed feelings. For killing off a fictitious character is one thing . . . killing off a real person is quite another. But it is the greatest book of her career. In the end, she changes the story and its no longer a masterpiece – it’s just a good story. When a Professor asks her why she changed it, she says, “Well it seems that the kind of a person who would step in front of a bus to save someone else is the kind of person you want to keep around.” Some years ago a group called 4 Him had a song called, A Man You Would Write About. The song says that we should be the kind of people God would write about if he were writing the Bible today. My sister Jodi said one day that she always thought of me when she heard that song. This is praise that I clearly don’t deserve, (I know me better than she does,) but I was reminded of it thinking of Harold Crick. 

Harold Crick was noble in the end because he was always that way. When the need for action came, he responded. The world sees the heart of God in his children when they respond to whatever need may arise. I do hope that we are people he would write about. I want us to be characters he would keep in the story not because we are great, but because in our better moments, we look like our Father. telemicus out

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