Friday, June 22, 2012

The Way

Last week we watched “The Way” on our church staff retreat.  It’s a story of a grieving father who walks El camino de Santiago.  Tom (Martin Sheen) doesn’t intend to be a pilgrim, but somehow he finds himself walking.  It’s an intimate look at Tom’s life and pain. 

It's a beautiful movie.

What’s most stirring is how real the film is—how normal it feels.  We overuse the words ‘authentic’ and ‘real’ but I can’t think of another way to describe it.  It’s stripped bare of bells and whistles and there's no Hollywood glam.  Rather, I felt like I knew Tom.   His grief is raw and prolonged, but not contrived.  There’s not an overt tug at your heartstrings.  It’s simply real life happening in front of you.

The film could seem slow for that reason, but not if you approach it as if you’re watching someone walk through their pain.  Viewed through this lens the film can help us.  Who among us hasn’t watched someone walk through pain?  We scramble for words.  We want someone to tell us what to do.  There has to be something to do.

But really the only things we should do are pray and walk with—not walk for or even walk to—but with.  When we walk with we share the load.  We share the burden.  We share anger, laughter and tears. 

The journey of grief can seem endless for the weary traveller, but hope surfaces when others join the pilgrimage.

Note:  The film is PG-13.  Check out a review on Christianity Today.    


  1. Beautiful post, Katie! Your words remind me of Jesus walking with His disciples on the road to Emmaus, and how He walks with us today even when we sometimes don’t recognize Him. Hmm...what can I do today as a way of walking with others? And do I have the faith to see Christ in those who walk with me?
    Oh, and another movie to add to my “to-watch” list, among many others you’ve recommended!

  2. Thanks Melany. Thanks for your challenging words to me.
    I'm so grateful you're part of Memorial Baptist Church. Christ's love is so evident in you.