By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
The Other Pair – A Meaningful Short Film About Giving and Receiving
This Egyptian short film, directed by the 20-year-old youth, won an award at the Luxor Film Festival. It takes only more than four minutes to tell a story about giving and receiving, which moves many people.
It is a story about two boys and a pair of shoes. When the poor boy in a pair of worn-out slippers at the station saw that the other boy who came to catch the train had a brand new and nice pair of shoes, he looked at them with envy and couldn’t move his eyes from them. The rich boy extremely cherished his new shoes, so he continuously cleaned them lest they be stained with dust. However, while he was boarding the train, something unexpected happened. He was pushed by the crowd, which made one of his shoes slip off and land on the track. He was unable to retrieve it as the train started moving. Then the poor boy went toward and picked up the new shoe he had longed for. After a few seconds’ struggle, he decided to catch up with the train in an attempt to give it back to the rich boy. But no matter how hard he tried, the poor barefooted boy couldn’t catch the running train. He had no choice but to exert himself to throw it so that it might fall into the train. Unfortunately, he failed, standing there dejected. Though the rich boy was upset while stretching his hands out to wait with anxiety, he saw the sincerity of the poor boy, so he threw the other shoe back to the platform, in which way he gave his precious shoes to the poor boy. And the poor boy picked up the shoes surprisingly and couldn’t tear himself away from them. In the end, the two boys smiled and waved goodbye at each other. This short film leaves us with such a wonderful ending.
After watching this film, I can’t help but feel all sorts of emotions. I am deeply moved by their kindness and honesty. In a matter of minutes, they are able to give up their own treasures in order to satisfy each other. However, it is difficult for us to make such a decision. We can see that the two boys are both very attached to the new shoes, but when they face the choice between loss and gain, they use their actions to show their attitudes toward fate: Give it back if it is not mine; Let it go if I can’t keep it.
This reminds me of Job. Due to Satan’s temptation, Job who had a rich family and begat many children lost all he had. He was seriously harmed physically, and ridiculed and mocked by his wife and his friends. However, he firmly believed that his all was bestowed by God, and it was natural for God to take everything away from him. As a created being, one must obey God without complaint. And he said “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither.” (Job 1:21) and bore strong and resounding testimony to God. His conclusion on this matter was out of his reverence and trust in God. When he encountered these sufferings, he still praised God’s name and accepted and obeyed God’s arrangement for him. In the end, he was completely free, living a carefree life within God’s light and gaining His blessings.
Job’s experience gives us a great inspiration: Actually, all of the material wealth we enjoy and our family are bestowed by God, but most of the time we think that we earn that by working hard. So we try our best to get what we want and strive to hold on to what we have owned. Thus, when we are faced with a choice as the two boys in this film, we are often puzzled, worrying about our personal gains or losses. When we encounter the same trials as Job, how should we emulate him and stand testimony? God says, “In his heart, Job profoundly believed that all he possessed had been bestowed upon him by God, and had not come off the back of his own labor. Thus, he did not see these blessings as something to be capitalized upon, but took holding on to the way that he should by tooth and nail as his living principles. He cherished God’s blessings, and gave thanks for them, but he was not enamored of, nor did he seek more blessings. Such was his attitude toward property. He neither did anything for the sake of gaining blessings, nor worried about or was aggrieved by the lack or loss of God’s blessings; he neither became wildly, deliriously happy because of God’s blessings, nor ignored the way of God or forgot the grace of God because of the blessings he frequently enjoyed.” “Regardless of what Job experienced, his pursuits and goals in life were happy, not painful. He was happy not only because of the blessings or commendation bestowed on him by the , but more importantly, because of his pursuits and life goals, because of the gradual knowledge and true understanding of the Creator’s sovereignty that he attained through fearing God and shunning evil, and moreover, because of the wondrous deeds of His that Job experienced personally during his time as a subject to the Creator’s sovereignty, and the warm and unforgettable experiences and memories of the coexistence, acquaintance, and mutual understanding between man and God; because of the comfort and happiness that came from knowing the Creator’s will; because of the reverence that arose after seeing that He is great, wondrous, lovable, and faithful.”
From , I see a path to happiness: obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements and experience God’s wondrous deeds with our hearts, we will obtain real solace and happiness, like Job, live in freedom and liberation. In fact, loss and gain, fortune and misfortune are not important, the important thing is to appreciate God’s will hidden within situations and accept everything that comes from God. Then we will find that our life will not be filled with struggles, but it is meaningful.