Wading through Singleness in Single Creek
- Thursday, June 02, 2011
I also felt what came through in Single Creek was a nod to how with singles can be treated insensitively in respect to their “loss.” Oftentimes they're told to just "get over it" and made to feel that grieving for the spouse or family they don’t have is not as valid or important as say an infertile couple who is grieving not being able to have a child.
Yes, and then you have the layers of singleness within the whole topic of singleness. God hates divorce but he also hates people abusing each other and doing evil things to each other in secret, whether it’s pornography or extracurricular affairs or whatever those other sins are. The question is which is worse, because God hates people hurting each other just like he hates divorce. We know that that’s just part of our broken world. For those people like myself who didn’t sign up or go to class called “Divorce 101,” perhaps there are sub-elements within the film that are … I wouldn’t say unintended. It was just a way of trying to introduce the various brokenness that happens under this umbrella called "singleness."
I wanted to not come about this topic in a “Pollyanna” way. Some people say get over it. God is enough for you. But you don’t really allow yourself to feel the pain of loneliness or a loss that you feel. I didn’t want to be so overtly Pollyanna that I would only interview people that weren’t real, people that acted that as if they didn’t hurt from time to time over the waiting on God to deliver on the promise that it’s not good that man be alone. The original Eden creation story shows us what God’s original plan was, and while we know that some people choose to live a celibate life we know that the majority of singles are single reluctantly. And so how could we deliver a positive message to singles while we educate married and pastors and leaders with this movie? How can we inspire singles in a balanced, honest way?
There’s a certain kind of single, and you’ve seen them in the church, that is constantly complaining that the church just doesn’t do enough for them and for singles. My heart goes out to them, but I didn’t want to portray a dysfunctional type of single that wasn’t finding strength in God and in their journey with Christ. The journey with Christ doesn’t mean that you resolve your loneliness and you never feel it and you never hurt from it. But because we surrender to Christ as single adults, we determine that we’re not going to be defined by that hurting spot in our hearts. We are determined to live productive lives. We’re determined to overcome through faith that literally we choose to follow Christ and be active in our faith, not sitting around and waiting and complaining for the church to create meaningful programs and those needed when we’re broken. We go through journeys of brokenness in life, whether we go through a divorce or whether we lose a job. There are a lot of losses in life, and the church should be a hospital for these kinds of things, but it should also be a way of mentoring, discipling champions for Christ.
Toward the end of [Single Creek], you see a number of these people who shared their brokenness early in the film. But then you see them ministering in the church and ministering in the community. But even with that I didn’t want to come in for a landing in the film with this “call to service” as being the endgame, because I almost felt like that would be Pollyanna if that’s how the movie ended—almost too much like a propaganda film for churches. You’ve heard people say, “Well singles have more time, singles have more money, singles have more resources than married people do.” And of course we make fun of that stereotype in the film. So that’s why the last section is called “Counter Culture to Contentment,” because I just felt like where the rubber meets the road really is where do we find contentment in spite of our loss, in spite of our loneliness. And that’s why when I was filming in Montana, I had the privilege to go out there and interview Stacy who’s the blonde girl in the film in front of the mountains. Not only was the natural beauty just stunning, and that’s a whole story in and of itself how it all worked out, but while she was sharing … to hear her telling her story the way the Lord spoke to her heart that he adored her, I started weeping while I was filming her sharing that because it’s like the Spirit was impressing me during that filming that this is the end of the film, that this is the way I want it to end.
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