Tuesday, October 19, 2010


We watched a movie tonight that would not have drawn our interest were we not APT fans. It's supposed to be a story of hope.

I'm not sure I saw any hope.

I loved watching Jimmy and Brian and Sarah. I loved seeing the local stuff: the scenery, the beer labels, the houses, the restaurants.

There was a lot of rhetoric about politics and the war. As we watched, I wasn't sure whether the show was trying to promote those viewpoints or giving us cause to shake our heads and say "tsk tsk." There was also a lot of foul language. But these things would have been forgivable if the story had a great message in the end.

But it didn't.

The poor chap in the movie had been a war correspondent and came home jaded and hopeless. He couldn't get rid of the horrid memories. He no longer believed that we can Change The World and make a difference. I didn't expect a Christian message of hope. But I did expect some secular version of hope. And for the life of me, I don't know what it was. The reviews talk about how Michael (the main character) finds hope. Through the movie he drinks a lot. And then he spends Christmas with a friend, including babysitting the friend's daughter on the afternoon of the 24th. The friend is positive and upbeat and has hope that things are generally good and will work out. But that in itself doesn't appear to give hope to Michael; it just seems to show him that not everything everywhere is thoroughly despairing.

Gary said it was the most depressing thing he'd seen in a long time. Afterwards he hunted up a funny tv show to watch.

Right now, I am thinking about what Pastor says about the Christian life being full of joy -- even when we do not feel it. Right now, I am thinking about the joy of family, and satisfaction with a job well done, and comfort in not taking on responsibilities that are not yours. Right now, I'm noticing the lack of dialogue in this film (all the scenes that are so so quiet, filled with pensive waiting and thinking) and contrasting that quietness with the voice of God's Word that brings life. Paul said that if Christ be not raised from the dead, we are of all men the most pitiable. But when you see what passes for "hope" out there in the big wide world, maybe not. Even if Christianity were a hoax, it still would have a lot to offer. Do you remember what Puddleglum said to the Witch when she was trying to convince them that there was no Narnia, no world except the underground one that lay in her grasp?

Suppose ... suppose we have only dreamed and made up these things like sun, sky, stars, and moon, and Aslan himself. In that case, it seems to me that the made-up things are a good deal better than the real ones. And if this black pit of a kingdom is the best you can make, then it's a poor world. And we four can make a dream world to lick your real one hollow.


  1. I don't like depressing movies like that, but I can watch them and "enjoy" them in so far as they make me think - but I think I can do it precisely because those give such a realistic view of how the world sees life.

    What I usually have to do afterward, though, is go and pray. Because I start to realize just how often I see life the same way... it's like having an ice bucket thrown over your head or something.

    Also, that is probably my favorite Narnia quote EVER, since the very first time I read it.

  2. Oh Susan, I have a book/video recommendation: The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Set in Botswana, the book tells the adventures of Mma Ramotswe and her detective agency. You get glimpses into Africa and life there, and glimpses into human nature. There's comedy, no bad language, a little mystery, and loyal friendship (very African). It was made into an HBO TV series. I checked out season one from our library, and we liked it well enough that Rob bought it for me.