And There Was Light?

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 9 February, 2006 at

I mentioned rather in passing that I saw a movie about God last week. It was called End of the Spear. I do not know how much press this is getting and whether or not to expect that any of you have heard of it. Without saying too much, this movie was about missionaries to an indigenous people in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and if you did not know going in that the story was true, you would never believe it. At least, I would not have.

It is so easily to believe that God exists while sitting in church, or reading the Bible. So easy to go into that “world” where God is real… and then walk back out again when you are finished. God is in there, he’s not out here with us in the real world. Not really. So what are these people doing? God really did that? Out here? HOW? I find that thinking about this movie is like staring at the sun; I just can’t bare to do it for very long.

I am not merely saying that this movie is true simply because it states, “From a true story,” at the beginning. Who knows what that “from” might mean? I know that it is true because I have heard this story before. The headquarters of the missionary organization depicted in this film is located in my home town. I know several people who work there. This is not just something that happened to some people sometime in history; this story is true in the sense that it actually intersects my own life, albeit through several degrees of separation.

For my believing friends, who may not understand the difficulty in facing this, I would say that it’s something like reading …oh let’s say… 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, and you really just would rather turn the page and not think about it. [Maybe you are fine with those verses, but I’m sure there is a passage in there somewhere that you feel that way about, please don’t miss my point on a tangent.]

In another interesting moment this weekend, I was thinking through a certain issue- rationally, logically, empirically- and when I finally reached a conclusion, it suddenly occurred to me, “But that’s what the Bible says!” And in that moment, I felt as though my eyes were open. I did not quite understand what I was looking at, just blurry shapes and colors, but, perhaps for the first time, it was light.

I know what some of you are thinking. Wrestling demons? Seeing light? Raise your hand if you think I’m losing my mind… again. Or maybe you just wonder how few meals I had last week.

As I was piecing together this post in my head, I caught upon the U2 song with the title Staring at the Sun. I actually learned how to play that song once upon a time. I always just considered it a light-hearted summertime song… nothing to do with what I am talking about here. But I pulled out the music for it to refresh my memory and was reading through the lyrics, and suddenly, “Jesus! This is exactly what I’m talking about!” Who knew? Now don’t worry, I won’t subject you to another craptacular cover version, just go find it yourself if you are interested.

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