Wednesday Prayers: Don't Watch the Film

I love Inside the Actor's Studio. I love it even when I don't care for an actor's body of work. It's about hearing people's stories.

When Johnny Depp was interviewed, he said that he doesn't watch the films he's in. More specifically, he said that after he's wrapped, "it's none of my business what the filmmaker does with it."

As a spiritual director, I have to really work at remembering that the big picture is not up to me. In fact, it's none of my business. One of the best sessions I ever took part in was while I was training-- my directee used a metaphor to talk about her situation the whole time we were talking. I never knew what her specific struggle was, and I didn't need to. I'm there to ask questions, God's there to lead her deeper into them. What follows isn't any of my business.

Maybe that's true for everything. We do our part, we respond to God's call, and then we forget about the completed film. If we're honest with ourselves, we know we're never going to know the whole story, anyway; we will do good in ways we will never realize, and we'll hurt unknowingly.

So my prayer this week is to be attentive to my role, and let go of the finished picture. What's your prayer this week?


  1. Interesting and thought provoking perspective, as usual! The only danger in not watching the finished project, the completed film is that you might not discover new things about your place in it. It's kind of like rereading a book many years later. It's never exactly as you remembered it and that says something about your journey, yourself since then. But I love the thought that we don't need to know the whole story and that it's not our business to direct it. I love your writing!

  2. Nancy, I think you're right-- not watching the film is much more about our involvement in other people's lives, not ignoring the patterns of your own.

    And thank you!

  3. Good words. I too need to remember I'm not in charge of the big picture.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins