I enjoy a good movie. And when I say that, I really mean a good movie. There’s a paucity of those. The big production studios are in a bit of a rut in my opinion. The previews really make me crazy. Godzilla Meets Spiderman. Lassie the Animated Adventure. Robots versus Monsters 13. Nobody seems to think about story or meaning. Of course, that’s a gross generalization. Smaller filmmakers are doing good work, as are streaming services like Amazon and Netflix. But still, the point is we need stories.
I was watching a favorite with the kids a few days ago. August Rush is a beautiful movie I highly recommend. In fact, I went so far as to say to my children that it’s one of the most Christian films I’ve ever seen. That is, if you get Christianity at its core. The movie is the storie of a child given up for adoption. But his mother did not know it happened. Nor did his father. Yeah, it’s far-fetched. But it’s a story of the lost who desire to be found, and of those looking for them. It’s a story of a past redeemed and mistakes made whole. The whole thing set to the background of a lush musical score. Mind you, I’m not a movie critic. But I like a story that moves me. If you hate the film, after watching it on my recommendation, then I apologize. ://www.amazon.com/August-Rush-Freddie-Highmore/dp/B0015RFCZ0
Redemption. That’s what Christianity is about. And working in an ER (or Emergency Department as the cool kids now say) is a place where we see a lot of folks who’d like some redemption. Or would like some deliverance. If not from illness or injury, then from depression. If not from depression then from anxiety. If not from anxiety then from addiction. Or from violence. Or trafficking.
Some would just like to be redeemed from their own regrets and mistakes. They’d like to undo the wounds they caused others, the choices they made. To go back and decline that first heroin, decide not to drink and drive, walk away from the fight that left them paralyzed, talk out the argument instead of hitting their spouse.
I have made mistakes. As such I am sometimes haunted by remorse over decisions and errors. This is not healthy, and I do not recommend such rumination. I am trying to overcome it. But I blow my regrets into huge, terrifying (and often false) images. This makes me feel terrible. And then I consider how badly that prisoner feels, how sorrowful that alcoholic, that meth-addict, that abuser; even that physician who let family slip away in favor of money and position.
The Christian faith is the story of a Father seeking to adopt the lost, orphaned children of the world. It’s about his finding them, calling them, healing them and guiding them. It’s about his taking away their sins. Redeeming them; as in the ancient world a slave would be ransomed and set free.
Jesus said, in Luke 19:10 ‘for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’
He also says that he would, like a shepherd, go and look for the lost. Matthew 18: 12-14. ‘What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices more over that one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.’
And in Psalm 103, 12-13, this:
‘For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His loving devotion for those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.’
When I see the people at work in all their pain, when I consider my own failings, and then realize that God sought me and saved me, then I know that this faith is available, and makes eternal sense, to any and every broken, wicked, hopeless, helpless, sorrowful, grief-ridden human being.
God is searching.
And unless we refuse him, he will find and redeem what he desires.
Whether in movies, in the madness of a busy ER, or in our own lives, the message of a redeemer is always welcome news.