CSC #9 Earning the Right to be Heard

The Culturally Savvy Christian earns the right to be heard.

Last week I sat in the audience at New York’s prestigious Museum of Modern Art waiting for a show aimed at families to begin.

It was titled “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

In the audience were dozens of parents with their kids. John Hockenberry and two other former NPR luminaries sat with their children clustered around them.

Elizabeth, the show’s coordinator entered the room and introduced the three films, explaining that all three were wordless stories and all three tell stories of “helping someone in need.”

After each film the children discussed the lessons they learned from the film.

I was particularly interested in the third film.

Titled The Mantis Parable it has won over a dozen major film festival awards including one at the Chicago International Children’s Festival.

The Mantis Parable has been selected for the archives at the National Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art¢â‚¬¦

Michael Medved has raved about it, saying it is: “artful and engaging¢â‚¬¦a skillful, thought provoking and densely packed work with world class animation.”

Seattle International Film festival described it as: “A Pixar-esque fable of longing, rebirth and redemption.”

From Italy came a glowing review describing the Mantis Parable “as most perfect with a wounding beauty¢â‚¬¦.”

As the room darkened we watched the simple story of a caterpillar trapped in a jar by an entomologist¢â‚¬¦Then we met a mocking mantis¢â‚¬¦There was a metamorphosis of the caterpillar to a butterfly¢â‚¬¦And finally a stunning ending that hinted at redemption and possibly even resurrection¢â‚¬¦

The lights came up in the theatre.

Elizabeth reminded the children that this is called a parable¢â‚¬¦

She asked what does this parable mean?

Hands went up everywhere in the room and children excitedly talked about what the Mantis Parable means. I heard children talking about forgiveness¢â‚¬¦Transformation¢â‚¬¦an underserved second chance¢â‚¬¦

In short¢â‚¬¦I heard children in a most secular space, talking about the gospel, communicated without words through an animated short story about bugs¢â‚¬¦

Then Elizabeth asked my daughter Jessica and I to raise our hands¢â‚¬¦

You see¢â‚¬¦the little award winning animated short was created by Joshua’s Staub¢â‚¬¦my son and Jessica’s brother¢â‚¬¦

I am pleased that Josh’s little piece has earned him a lot of awards and well deserved recognition¢â‚¬¦

But most important, I am pleased that because of his commitment to artistic excellence, he’s earned the right to be heard and to tell a story of redemption in film festival’s around the world.

He’s talking about the gospel without words in an animated short story about bugs.

If you would like your own copy of the Mantis Parable you can order it at the Mantis Shop.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

PS 2. If you haven’t yet done so, register for our daily updates. You won’t regret it!

  • Register for CW

  • PS 3.

    If you have comments regarding this column please contact us at:

  • CultureWatch:

  • This web site is supported solely by tax-deductible donations. Please mail your generous contributions to: The Center for Faith and Culture, PO Box 77385, Seattle, Washington 98177

    ‚©CRS Communications 2006

    Posted in Staublog, Thoughts in October 24, 2006 by | No Comments »

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    + 48 = 55

    More from Staublog