The Help

July 22, 2020 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Pam Kumpe –

When the movie “The Help” popped on my radar, I found myself drawn to the story since the premise of the film portrayed a group of black maids sharing their stories in a book about life in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962.

Some of their stories appeared scandalous, while others sad, and yes, plenty sounded like they were going to be downright hilarious.

In the movie trailer, I saw the maid Aibileen who cared for children and offered her lap, her heart, and her hugs to a little girl, Mae Mobley.

Minny, the sassy maid, offered sarcasm, shined with her wit and she had a knack for making fried chicken and pies.

I had to see the movie especially since the script offered seeds of change. And if there’s one thing I think we all need, it’s stories that make us think, those that require change in us.

The first time I bought my ticket and popcorn, the theatre was packed, and I found myself sitting on row three. Row three is too close and dizzy spells ensued.

I missed plenty of points and illustrations since I spent most of the time swirling in my seat and tilting my head up to see the screen.

So after my first viewing, I had to go back. This time I watched with fresh eyes.

I’d love to play Aibileen since she’s brave and gentle and she’s constantly reminding the toddler Mae Mobley, “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.”

Imagine children growing up hearing, “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.”

In Ephesians 2:10, it tells me that we’re God’s masterpieces or handiwork. And yet, we often stop there, but the second part to that scripture reminds me to do good works.

We may at times forget to take our masterpiece self into the day with the idea of doing good works, or taking joy with us, or offering kindness and encouragement to someone else.

After all, when life is hard—thinking you are smart, kind, or important would be the last thing on your mind.

This is why I expect plenty of folks may see themselves as Minny who is quite outspoken, a perfectionist in her chores, and who hides her private pain behind the pies and pieces of chicken fried in Crisco oil.

In one scene Minny holds up a can of Crisco like it’s her best friend—saying it holds the answers to everything—nearly.

Now the racism in the movie is painful to watch, but it’s the sort of story that I believe needs to be seen, because it challenges us to do better in our walk with our neighbors.

When Skeeter (little miss straight out of college journalism major) embarks on this writing journey with the maids, it’s the words of her own beloved maid (who is missing) that I’ll never forget, “Ugly is something that grows up inside you.”

I have had ugly things growing inside of me—at times. And I’m not terribly proud of their existence. It’s like the ‘ugly’ can stick to us like crust and we find ourselves stuck in the frying pan of life surrounded by Crisco oil and other pieces of chicken.

We can’t find our way out of the past—or the pan—and the fried stuff that coats our hearts and weighs us down only gets crunchier.

However, when you put certain people together like Aibileen who feels invisible, when you mix in Minny who refuses to be invisible and Skeeter the journalist—these three women push past the icky stuff that separates folks—and hope rises up.

This movie is the best thing since fried chicken because everyone, all of you—‘is’—smart, kind and important—worthy of pie, of living with joy and being loved—you are not invisible. Your voice matters. And on days when Crisco doesn’t make life better, try soaking in God, He’s the Crisco to our hearts.

About Pam Kumpe

Pam Kumpe writes a weekly inspirational newspaper column for the Bowie County Life/ Texarkana Gazette newspaper. She is the host of “Permission to Have Fun” an online podcast filled with fun, faith and encouragement. She is the author of three books, “A Scoop of Inspiration,” “See You in the Funny Papers” and a children’s book “In the Lick of Time.” When life seems out of tune, she sings with her bird Angel, who also sings off-key and she often shares her blonde escapades speaking at retreats and events, for more go to
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3 Responses to “The Help”
  1. Loved the movie! Love the way your article relates!

  2. What a cute analogy and that’s one of my favorite verses.

  3. Just watched “The Help” last weekend – loved it and love all the different analogies you drew out from the movie.

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