Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
BBC Radio Scotland
February 1st, 2011

I am not Colin Firth.

Hopes that my congregation might start calling me Father Darcy have all been dashed. I remain to them unremarkable and not very glamourous. People in my congregation have, though, been crowing about the recent film "The King's Speech". While there is enthusiasm about the script and the story - much of it has to do with the leading man.

Every generation has its heart-throbs. Often they've been stars of the big screen. The facts about the lives these people lead - either as rogues or as timid and ordinary folks - are unimportant to many of us. There is, I gather, a Mrs Firth who wakes up next to Mr Firth every morning and who knows the real story.

For his admirers this matters little.

Actors get rather a poor rating in the New Testament. The word "hypocrite" which Jesus uses to describe his religious opponents comes from the world of the theatre and means, essentially, an actor - somebody inauthentic who doesn't believe the words he's saying and using.

The fact remains that there are, today, real men and women around the world who stand in the breach, who do battle against injustice, who champion good ideas, who do what they say they'll do and who make sacrifices for others. We tend to be cynical about real life heroes. There's a market out there for books and articles claiming to tell "the real story" behind our heroes and to knock the stuffing out of any person or institution which presumes to stand too tall.

At least some of it is jealousy. We're uncomfortable with our own lack of heroism.

In "The Kings Speech" it takes a failed actor to make a stammering King able to speak to a nation.

In a world filled with troubled families, failing political will, divided communities and crushing indifference, might not the stories of real life heroes do something to straighten our backs and increase our resolve?

An audio link is available HERE for a limited time. TFTD begins at 1:23.20 - about halfway along the audio bar.