Thursday, November 8, 2007
Moving, awe inspiring, life changing and whatever else you said...
Sunday night I was invited/talked into watching Saving Private Ryan by Megs and Kodison, my fav engaged lovedove couple. I had held off on seeing this movie previously for several reasons, mainly because
a) I don’t enjoy blood and guts and bombs and bullets
b) War movies are guy films. You know, violent, sexist and totally superficial. Guy movies always have a moral and that moral is : you must be brave and honorable, no matter the consequences and I am going to beat you over the head with my message.
and c) It’s rated R.
But my love for said engaged couple won me over and and after much cajoling I succumbed. I sank into the loveblob downstairs and watched. (The CleanFlicks edited version, mind you).
Now I am not admitting to weeping (heresy, this is guy movie afterall ) but I am admitting, and to my FSIL II, that it was ‘moving, awe inspiring, life changing’ and whatever else you said I should own up to feeling if I was any kind of person with a conscience or heart.
I give. I freely confess to liking this movie. So much so in fact that I spent a good portion of my day yesterday reading articles and researching online World War II facts. I engaged Megs and later Kodis in conversation about all my new findings and insights. And yet again as today begins, I find myself still thinking about it. What’s not to love about a movie that produces this kind of response?
Saving Private Ryan. It is a violent movie, but justifiably so. Its themes are powerful and have to do with the very essence of the human spirit. What is the value of a single life? From where do courage and valor come? Why is it that human beings will die for one another? And what is it that we owe one another, our families, our nation, the human race, our God, as the price of our humanity? What is our responsibility at the end of the day for having been given the gift of our own lives?
I don’t think it much of a stretch to see this film as kind of a parable. There is lots of devotion and sacrifice and incredible courage as the squad carries out its assignment. Although they would not call it that, a bond of love emerges among them, about which Jesus once said, "greater love has no one than this-that a person lay down his life for a friend."
And it’s about stewardship. At the very end, many of the GIs are dead, Private Ryan will be saved. He comes upon the captain, lying mortally wounded. He says to Private Ryan-the last words of the film-his last words, "Earn this."
Earn it. You have been given a very precious gift. Your life has been bought at a very dear price. Others have died so that you might live. You have not earned this-yet. But now you can. You can live the rest of your life in a manner that honors the gift and the ones who paid the price. You can value the gift of your life at least as much as they did. Earn it. Basic stewardship, I think . . . the same message the Savior gave his friends just before he died.
Great stuff, great film.
And okay. I did cry. A lot.