Monday, January 7, 2019

TODAY’S PARABLES


Modern religion, for the most part, keeps spiritual reality confined to a historical context, as though Christ is no longer living and moving among us. As though he no longer speaks or conveys his ways or will today. But this I know: he still favors parables and remains the quintessential storyteller. He doesn’t give up easily.

He still dramatizes his message, sometimes in unlikely venues. Is it any wonder that he’d speak through horror movies, given the current state of affairs? Think about it: why are post-apocalyptic thrillers on the rise? Mind you, most are trash, but once in a while spiritual treasures can be gleaned.

I’m not an avid movie viewer, but on the rare occasions when I do see a film it’s with my daughter, at her invitation. The most recent two we saw together were A Quiet Place last year and, last week, Bird Box, both packed with spiritual symbolism. Both films like modern-day scenes from the book of Revelation. Both cautionary tales warning that we must guard our senses or be devoured by evil. 

 

Monsters Lying in Wait

In A Quiet Place noise summons the beast and the only hope for survival is found in silence and stillness. Better to remain quiet and hidden than to invite destruction. The prophetic significance in this film is rich, as evil is forever out to kill whatever divine is being birthed in you, and noise is the destructive force.

Bird Box depicts the necessity of walking by faith, not by sight. Better to blind yourself to evil than to behold its face and be transformed into its image – which is suicidal. Because those who gaze into the face of evil become what they behold. They become deceptive liars. And deceptive liars are rampant out there, as you well know.

But as you also know, when one sense is missing another fills the gap. Blindness begets keener hearing. There’s a scene toward the end of Bird Box where Malorie (Sandra Bullock) is struggling to navigate her children blindfolded through treacherous terrain while deceptive voices increase, pretending to be the children’s mother, aiming to lure them away from her. 

She is begging, begging the children to “Listen to my voice. Don’t listen to them. Listen to me.” Sound familiar? My sheep know my voice…and a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him. 

Those who don’t discern the flood of lies gushing from news channels and social media are both deaf and blind to reality because they’ve immersed themselves in the cesspool of deception. The flashing neon sign in both A Quiet Place and Bird Box says this: walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time for the days are evil.

When you see a movie and later find yourself moving like the characters, on the que vive, more guarded against invading thoughts that try to creep through the door like a snake, and when you become as mindful of the unseen world as what your natural eyes reveal, you know you’ve touched a deeper dimension of  reality.

I’m well aware that most won’t perceive any spiritual meaning in these parables. But maybe that’s the point. What parabolic treasures have you gleaned from a movie – any movie? Do share. 

Below are questions I’ve pondered over the past few days, questions I’ve asked myself and now ask you:

How will you redeem the time in 2019?

Will you find a way to escape the river rapids (the dragon’s flood of lies) and find your footing on solid ground and make it to your sanctuary safe and sound?

What are you birthing that must be guarded with your life and protected at all costs from the devourer? You mission? Your life work? Your creative dreams? Your joy and peace? Your soul? 



10 comments:

  1. There are numerous passages, pertaining to deceivers, those who would deceive even the elect. The head can be swayed, but a secure heart cannot be moved.

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    1. Michael, you are not only a poet but a philosopher. This is quote-worthy: “The head can be swayed, but a secure heart cannot be moved.” Can I quote you on that? And yes, deceivers are profuse. Hoping this 2019 will find you fruitful in all things.


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    2. Of course, you may quote that. You are welcome to anything thoughts I might share, now and always.

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    3. Thanks Michael. Perfect.

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  2. Debra, such powerful and provoking questions you've been pondering, and now ask us here. The older I get (that's a good and bad thing), the more I realize how much I need quiet solitude with God. I need to hear His still small voice quelling the onslaught of the persistent dragon and his flood of lies and deceit. My word for the year is "lean." The Lord has shown me, truly over the past months, how much I absolutely need to lean into Him, and trust, even when all about me seem to be losing their heads. I'll be posting about that tomorrow, so hope to see you there!
    Happy and Blessed New Year, my friend!

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    1. I’m looking forward to your post tomorrow. Wouldn’t miss it. I’m not sure what my word is for this year yet but a few short years ago my phrase was “press in.” Which is akin to “lean.” I’m with you: solitude and quiet mean the difference between hearing from God and hearing the shouting matches “out there.” I wish you the same, Martha: you have a blessed new year, my friend.


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  3. Indeed, post apocalyptic movies are on the rise. The reason, methinks, is that people everywhere feel we're going to face chaos and disaster.

    Anyway, Bird Box, and Quiet Place , sound like great thrillers.

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    1. Good point, DUTA, it’s possible that this is why post-apocalyptic movies are on the rise. The threat of chaos and disaster is looming over our heads, especially when we have world leaders who are warmongers.


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  4. I don't have netflix, so Bird Box is not in the offing. And, the other movie (which I missed in theaters, since it came and went quickly) is now on tv. I will check it out.

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    1. Roy, so what other movies or books have spoken to you like parables? With your keen perception surely you’ve discovered a few hidden messages somewhere along the way.

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