Jan 27, 2006

(slow-mo)

Katie and I saw End Of The Spear last night (thanks Scott!).

As a Christian, I have to say this is one of those movies I really enjoyed and am thankful for. There aren't too many pictures made by believers that are worth the movie screen. I'm sorry to say that, but honestly... there is some hokey stuff out there.

A couple years back when we saw The Passion Of The Christ, my wife and I found ourselves deeply affected and amazed by a movie. I've seen some incredible pictures, but with this one I literally couldn't get up out of my chair for a solid ten minutes due to its graphic impact. On our way home, we discussed questions like, "Now what? Shouldn't seeing something like this cause other things to seem less important? Shouldn't this help our focus be as pure as possible?"

Last night some great dialogue came out of our experience with End Of The Spear. After seeing the lengths that the Saint family went through, we wondered what our "Waodani tribe" might be. We asked questions like, "Who is God calling us to be proclaimers of Jesus Christ to... His love, truth, and way... and the life he offers us in lieu of death?" Great dialogue, and I think we're still processing it.

As a dad, though, watching some of the scenes was a bit difficult. My wife and I have this saying we throw around as a comfort whenever we see something moving involving death. It's a simple two word phrase, "Don't die." Last night when it came up, though, it was (for the first time) met with the response, "But let's not forget to live, either."

It's this kind of slow-motion thinking that many of us often neglect in life. We become so concerned about doing our tasks that we forget to enjoy life "frame by frame." Do you know what I mean? Those moments when you push back from the table and take a picture with your brain as you think, "How in the world did I ever deserve this?" Or maybe when you're hanging with a really good friend and realize, "This friendship is important to me, and it's obviously important on the other end, too." Quite possibly you might be a rare person who is in a job that you love, be it for money or a stay-at-home gig... and you find yourself thinking, "YES! This rocks!"

Slow-motion thinking...
frame by frame...
even while life continues to roll on at high speed.

I've been processing this, too, especially since I'm home a lot. Sometimes proximity to a blessing can cause you to neglect it, and so I have intentionally been telling myself to just wrestle with my kids, smooch my lady, or make a nice meal that we can all enjoy. It seems obvious, doesn't it? And yet the pace of the Great Movie that we are all in as supporting characters can overwhelm us into unconscious apathy.

Back to the movie, go see it. I know that there is a bit of healthy dialogue about the actor who played one of the lead roles, but if you get the chance I'd highly suggest you see it soon on the screen before it fades away on some video shelf somewhere. Especially if you're a Christian, this just might cause you to ask some questions you may have forgotten to ask in awhile.

Slow-motion thinking...
frame by frame...
even while life continues to roll on at high speed.

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." - Psalm 46:10

6 comments:

Tanner Ridge said...

Tony,



I just read your blog.

First, Your Welcome :)

Second I guess I don’t have to go into the controversy of this movie because you found it on your own. This issue of casting an open, vocal homosexual in the role of Nate Saint is causing alittle confusion in the churches. Do we support this movie or not... do we support this movie or not... do we support this movie or not? You can google Chad Allen also and find the videos he has been in to further the Homosexual agenda.
The web page you linked from the directors blog was the exact one I was gonna send you this morning so I got a chuckle there.

But it takes me back to your message last week at Greenville Community Church. Where can you find God working? Where does the image of God show up?

Think its weird that a Christian movie has a homosexual in it playing a Christian part and Broke Back Mountain has straight people playing Homosexual roles?

Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t know about Chad Allen before I saw the movie because I know that I would have been distracted by the controversy while watching it. That’s why I didn’t tell you ahead of time but you might have already known.

The movie was great overall. It makes me want to read the book again. I read the book about 20 years ago and it has had a lasting impression on me to this day. The movie doesn’t do justice to what was in the men’s hearts other than their actions. There was no character development of the other men killed or what they were doing there.
The natives were too clean and teeth were too good. And how come Christians can go to a movie like this and see native butt and not be offended, but can't go to a beach without suing or something if people were dressed like this? Maybe if we saw all people as natives and a mission field or something like that... nevermind.

I liked how they spent a lot of time showing what the natives were feeling and why they were responding like they did. It was nice having their point of view.

Did you know that at the funeral at the end, a lot of people in the audience were family members from those killed?

As far as death… how can one not be moved when asked by his boy if he will shoot the natives to defend himself and his no response was: "We can't shoot the Waodani, son. They're not ready for heaven—we are."

A worthwhile read is the Plugged in review

http://www.pluggedinonline.com/movies/movies/a0002501.cfm

Read especially the conclusion!

I’ll be seeing this movie again for sure.

Brian said...

Glad you found some healthy dialogue on the Chad Allen issue. The dialogue I had found was profoundly unhealthy.

Do live.

-Brian

Tony Myles said...

Thanks for the tip, Scott - I read the Plugged In article and appreciated its candor. Good call!

Anonymous said...

I was struck by your remark, "What is our Waodani tribe". Last year in our Bible study group we were in Acts where Paul was in Jerusalem and he said "I must needs go to Rome." Our study guide asked "what is your Rome" so I shared a serious problem concerning some unsaved relatives. While I was speaking, the phone rang. It was a pastor friend giving me an urgent need in that family's affairs. My wife and I were able to help because of that.

Michael said...

I have not seen this movie, though Im slightly interested in it. I was just wondering how the movie treated the natives in it and their culture? Ive been taking a course about Indigenous rights and the environment and we had a really big discussion about people like missionaries trying to do what they think is best for the indigenous people even if the indigenous people are unsure about it. so I was just really interested in how the natives and the missionaries interacted.

Tony Myles said...

It's worth a peek.

Speaking of cultures impacting cultures, the tribe originally didn't want this movie made. However, when one of the main missionaries shared about Columbine and the issues we experience in America, they thought that if their story could prevent one more killing in our culture, then by all means tell it.

Personally, I believe it's healthy for cultures to influence each other in healthy ways (which, I suppose, is always up for discussion as to what is "healthy"). However, each one needs to maintain a link to its history lest it lose its unique contribution in the process.

One of the church's early mistakes in missions was in trying to get converts to denominations instead of introducing Christianity in the way that made sense to the people they were speaking with. Hopefully we've learned our lesson and can speak the truths of Jesus in the appropriate language.