“This is truth – sorry!” says Hazel Grace at the outset of the story. Hazel is the 16 year-old central character and her warning sets the stage for the anticipation of heartbreak.
She has managed to hold lung cancer at bay thanks to an experimental drug, but breathing tubes and a portable oxygen tank remind us of cancer’s constant threat.
Hazel’s Hero With Feet Of Clay
Hazel is sent by her anxious and caring parents to a cheesy, church sponsored, cancer support group where she meets the love of her life. (How come church sponsored support groups are usually portrayed by Hollywood as cheesy? Have you lost someone you love? North Pointe offers “Grief Share” – a support group that isn’t cheesy.)
Hazel has a passion for a book, “An Imperial Affliction,” which offers big ideas like, “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.” Her one wish is to meet the author. When Gus makes her dream come true she faces bitter disappointment in discovering her hero’s feet of clay.
Her passion turns to rage.
The film affords uncanny moments of clarity which sneak up on you.
Hazel’s love, Gus, offers his dream of making a difference with his life and living on a trajectory that never goes down. His greatest fear – “Oblivion.” Then he is diagnosed with cancer.
A candid discussion ensues about what happens after we die.
The truth can hurt almost as much as the unexpected ending to the film.
11 Realities of Love and Life
1. Cancer patients face a life where their own body has become their enemy.
2. Families and especially parents and spouses of cancer patients feel at a loss. They would do or give anything to ease the pain and suffering of their loved ones, but they can’t.
3. Everybody wants to be noticed and significant to somebody.
4. Everybody wants to be passionately loved.
5. The fear and angst of cancer can drive those you need the most, apart and away.
6. Life after death answers become life and death issues when you have cancer.
7. The stars of our life can let us down through faults of their own.
8. Everybody’s story doesn’t end happily-ever-after.
9. Eternity, not infinity, is our focus. We were made for eternity – “God has set eternity in the hearts of men.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
10. Death is not a period at the end of life’s sentence.
APPLICATION: Did you see the film or read the novel? What was your favorite part? Please leave a comment below.
Pointes of View exists in order to help people grow their faith in Jesus, build healthy relationships and effectively live out their purpose.
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