Fill Up, Pour Out

What makes us feel worthy? How we can play a part in helping others realize their worth?

When I asked a young employee of a community health clinic what motivates her in a career that includes long, exhausting days, surrounded by people with incredible needs, she gave me a look that seemed to wonder how I could not know.

“He who waters will himself be watered,” was her answer.

But I didn’t quite buy it. It sounded a little too Christian-y to me. So I decided to dig further, the best way I know how. I got out my movie camera to get a better understanding of who these people are at this clinic.

Heartland Community Health Center believes that health care goes much deeper than eliminating sickness. Their approach to health includes not only the physical but also nutritional, relational, financial, and spiritual. It’s lead by a man who, after two decades as an architect, made a mid-career U-turn to spend his days helping those in need.

I’m a filmmaker. I experience deep satisfaction in mixing image and sound, dialogue, and music to discern and cultivate the meaning of our existence. It’s my process to uncover some order from the chaos, to help make things new again…to glimpse the sacred.

It sounded a little too Christian-y to me. So I decided to dig further, the best way I know how…it’s my process to uncover some order from the chaos, to help make things new again. To glimpse the sacred.

But the lure to make my work about me is real and present. My individualism is a force to be reckoned with. My drive to be respected by those who have “yet” to take notice…it’s a paralyzing and bottomless craving for affirmation. And a constant reminder to keep my sense of worth in check.

This short film looks at two generations facing this same dilemma head-on. One we’ve seen repeatedly in books and films—a middle-aged man wakes up and changes gears in his career. The other, a millennial, is on course to avoid this repetitive, generational mistake.

The setting is a place where people for whom Jesus has a big heart (the sick, the hurting, the less fortunate, the underserved) look for help.

The throughline: If you spend yourself on the needs of others, then you’ll have light in the darkness.

My point is not that we all need to stop what we’re doing and start a health clinic in order to participate in making things on earth as it is in heaven. But it is a good reminder to pause and ask ourselves what makes us feel worthy, and how we can play a part in helping others realize their worth.

After a decade working in Hollywood on other people’s movies (Ang Lee, George Clooney, Keenan Wayans, etc.) Marc Havener moved to the filmmaking mecca of Kansas to start his own production company. Resonate Pictures’ shorts have screened in 70+ festivals around the globe, while its corporate films have been recognized with top industry awards. Marc lives with his wife, writer, and editor Jenea, son, and two daughters in Lawrence.

To learn about another health clinic doing holistic work in Jesus’ name, read CSA’s profile of Church Health.

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