Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blood Diamond

Last night, some friends and I went to see this movie. It started at 10:05, which is usually past my bedtime, but I went out on a limb and saw it anyway. I was not disappointed. I want to recommend this movie for a few reasons (also see Bert W blog).

For one, it was so incredibly sobering to think about how much oppression and violence is happening all over Africa. I read every so often about the situation in Sudan right now, or over in Uganda, but I never becomes very real to me. And the sort of oppression and slaughter in this movie is particularly sobering because of how the American consumeristic lifestyle that I am very much a part of is helping fuel it all. Greed plays a huge part in this movie on both sides. As more wealthy nations desire cheap diamonds, the rebels of West Africa slaughter thousands of their own people to gain power and wealth themselves by controlling the market of selling the diamonds. I came out feeling pretty disgusted with myself in how materialistic I am, and how little I do or even think about doing something to help out with the cruelty going on over there.

Another great reason to see this movie is for the beautiful story of a father (Solomon) pursuing his son who has now been corrupted. ***Spoiler alert*** The son once has ongoing fellowship with Solomon, but is soon separated from him and brainwashed by the rebels in the area. He is brainwashed to the point of not even recognizing his own father, and calling him an enemy to be killed. But Solomon's relentless pursuit of his son soon comes to fruition. Solomon, stern yet weeping, looks deep into his son's soul and says to him, "I am your are my son...and I love you so much." The son's will is broken and his eyes are then able to see that it is indeed his father. Finally, reconciliation...freedom.

This was to me an incredibly moving reminder to me of how God has pursued me, even when I was his enemy. So, coming out of the theatre, I was filled with humility and thankfulness for God's undeserved gift to me, as well as shame for not caring more about the cruelty happening every day in this world.

As a pastor pointed out earlier this week, we see the opposite of love in 1 Cor. 13 is not hate, but pride. Being so consumed with self to the point of neglecting others is the essence of what it means to be unloving. I am encouraged by this movie to step outside of myself and help bring healing to this broken world.

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