There is a reason that movies fade to black after the resolution. A film is an opportunity for us, as an audience, to go on a journey along with the characters, never fully knowing when and how the unfolding events are going to come together. Then, finally, after two hours of action, conflict, emotional revelations, and personal growth, the characters attain some kind of truth and, as we've shared this journey with them, we do as well. All the elements begin to gel and form a promise about the future whether that be a newfound love, a personal calling, a settled score, or a healed wound. The story is finished.
But with the job done and the mysteries unraveled, unless the character has died in the process (and we don't like those kinds of movies!), we have to face the mundane and arduous process of making sense of that truth, of reconciling it to the ordinariness of "daily" life which occurs outside of that two hour window. Anyone who has experienced a remarkable personal revelation can tell you that you wake up the next morning saying, "What now?" What happens after the arrest or the guilty verdict? What do Jane and Dick say after the revealing climax? What do the townspeople do after the hero rides off into the sunset? Whatever the answer, it cannot possibly measure up to the preceding two hours, so the screen fades to black and are left only with a promise, a hopeful glimmer.
The 18 months since I first watched Lord, Save Us From Your Followers have been a remarkable journey for me. If you read my One Word post, you might remember that God gave me the word "unshakable" for 2010 in reference to Hebrews 12:24-29. Specifically:
"Now this...indicates the removal of things which are shaken, as the things which are made, that the things which cannot be shaken will remain...therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably and with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire."Well let me tell you, my world has been shaken. Repeatedly. And I can feel the "things which are made" falling away and that "kingdom which cannot be shaken" getting clearer and clearer. It would be empty flattery and flatly untrue to say that this film alone changed my life and I don't think God or my new friend, Dan Merchant, would be very comfortable with that. But it is in no way an exaggeration to say that God has changed my life through this film and the faithfulness of the (awesome) filmmaker.
I've passed into the surreal eye of the storm and can feel the wild events of the past 18 months whirling around me. It's been amazing, inspiring, surprising, and very difficult personally. I've had my expectations crushed and rebuilt into something I could never have imagined. God began His renovations on my heart and it is not at all what I expected or what I had hoped for. But it has been richer than I could have ever dreamed and I admit I have no idea what to expect next. I'm filled with that eerie eye-of-the-storm kind of calm because I know that there are more trees to uproot in my life and a few trailers to relocate. I know it's coming but I don't know when or how. And you know what? That's okay.
And not only have I been blessed with an incredibly experience and wonderful memories but a very dear new friend.
Dan, buddy, you humble and inspire me. God has used you in a profound way and I'm so stoked to see what He has in store for you! It's a pleasure and a privilege knowing you. You helped me see the gospel more clearly, you showed me Jesus in a new and truer way. To plagiarize a bit, you make me feel less crazy. The few hours I've got to spend talking to you have been a rare blessing. I really can't say enough and I'm getting all sloppy so Sláinte, my friend!
Next time you get tired of the drizzle, drag the family up our way and we'll baptize them all in the Healing Waters!
Entrenched in His Grace,