Making A Difference In Someone's Life

The Blind Side

Teenager Michael Oher is surviving on his own, virtually homeless, when he is spotted on the street by Leigh Anee Tuohy.

Learning that the young man is one of her daughter's classmates, Leigh Anee insists that Michael -- wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the dead of winter -- come out of the cold. Without a moment's hesitation, she invites him to stay at the Tuohy home for the night. What start out as a gesture of kindness turns into something more as Michael becomes part of the Tuohy family despite the differences in their backgrounds.

Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. And as the family helps Michael fulfill his potential, both on and off the football field, Michael's presence in the Tuohys' lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own.

Responding to the prompting inside

Has God ever nudged your heart? Maybe you’ve driven past someone and felt a tug, a sudden surge of compassion. The Spirit may have prompted you to act. Did you keep driving or did you turn around? It is tempting to move on. We have appointments, jobs, responsibilities. Besides, how much difference can we make? Yet, in The Blind Side, Leigh Anne Tuohy dares to turn around, to stop the car, to get out and make a difference.

Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw) was a legendary basketball star at Ole Miss who now owns most of the fast food restaurants in Memphis. His wife, Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock) is an interior designer in constant demand. Their teenage daughter Collins plays volleyball and serves on the cheerleading squad. Their young son, S.J. (Sean Junior) has energy and ideas to spare.

Returning from a volleyball game, Leigh Anne spots Big Mike walking the streets on a chilly evening. She is troubled by the sight and insists that Sean turn their car around. Big Mike insists he is going to the gym. But Leigh Anne presses further wondering why he is going to a gymnasium that is closed. When Big Mike equivocates, Leigh Anne confronts him, “Don’t you lie to me.”

Sean watches from a distance. He’s seen Leigh Anne in action many times before, “She’s about to get her way.”

Biblical Connection

When it comes to caring for those in need, sometimes we have to be insistent. The needs are often so simple and tangible: food, shelter, clothing. Jesus redefined the test of a true disciple. In Matthew 25:35-36, he lays out tangible measures: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.”

Leigh Anne takes Jesus’ words seriously. She pushes pass fear or prejudice to make room for a cold and hungry stranger. She stops what she’s doing, turns her family and their car around. She dares to get out, to search for an answer, to meet a need. The Tuohys welcome Mike into their home.

Michael's poor condition became his "blind side". Meanwhile, the routinary (lack of challenge and real excitement) afluent content life of the Tuohys has somewhat became a kind of a "blind side" to the family. But when the motherly instinct of Leigh Anne Tuohy motivated her to dare to turn around to stop the car to get out and make a difference in Michael's life, she wasn't expecting that what she's doing will make an even bigger difference in her family's life. While the Tuohys addressed the "blind side" in Michaels life, Michael's presence in their family took care of their own "blind side" -- a perfect teamwork.

How amazing that the Lord sometimes addresses our need by means of other people's need.

To make a difference in someone's life is to make a difference in your own life.