What if your emotions were really people? What sort of conversations would they have when it came to a new situation? And what if, like many clergy families, moving house was a difficult change you had to deal with? Well, in Inside Out, this is exactly what 11-year-old Riley has to tackle as her family moves to a new city for her dad’s work. She leaves so much that is familiar and we get a front row seat to the way her mind grapples with this.
The characters representing Riley emotions are comical and honest: Anger is short-tempered and fiery, Happiness is unstoppably optimistic, and Sadness mopes in true Eeyore fashion. They negotiate for ultimate influence over Riley’s experiences and memories, and are challenged by moving house and community to decide who will be in charge of the response Riley has at different times – or might it be more than one of them at once?
This is an excellent movie for understanding the range of emotions children, and indirectly parents, can have as they move home: an excellent resource for those wanting to understand the emotionally challenging world of the frequently relocating clergy family. As we travel along with Riley on her difficult journey we discover how she feels about what’s happening, and why it’s important to listen to these feelings.
Inside Out does great justice to the complexity and deeply personal loss of leaving what has been known for so long and setting out on a new path. This movie is a great conversation starter for clergy families, particularly clergy kids, providing the opportunity to chat about how they feel about ministry life, or having to move for the sake of ministry. As clergy kids and their families face the challenge of change in their ministry context, this movie represents a concerted effort to understand the experience of kids in change, a sentiment reflective to me of true biblical concern for the least amongst us (1 Corinthians 12:21-25).
I hope you get the opportunity to see this movie. You’ll laugh, may need a couple of tissues, and will see a great story about change and emotions, and understanding them from the inside out.
Matt (PK Place Leader)
Note: We loved this movie so much, it’s on our Resource Giveaway short list!
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