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Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Messenger

Tonight, I sat and watched a movie with That Man.  He was in the mood for action, so I watched his choice.  I know, I'm such a good wife.  Chalk me up one more on the sainthood list.  :) Speaking of saints...

We watched The Messenger, which is the story of Joan of Arc.  Now let me make one thing clear.  This is a violent, bloody, gross movie, and I HATE watching it.  However, I was in "be a good wife" mode, so I sat and watched it with him.  And dang it, if I'm going to suffer through a movie I CAN'T stand, dangit, I'm going to make it worth my while.

Fortunately, God was standing right there to help me out.  Gotta love it.  Watching a movie about a chick with visions from God, and God decides to smack me upside the head and say, "Pay attention, dummy."  So because I'm a very nice person and won't make you suffer through all the blood and gore (which, you know, I've decided God is a very gross dude-I mean, there's the whole blood sacrifice thing, and all the wars His people have fought over the years, and well, ICK).  Oh, I'm digressing again.  Seriously, though, even though I'm beginning to accept that God is neither obligated to nor seldom decides to tell us why, I REALLY want to know about the whys of all the gross stuff.  Why does it have to all be so gross and yucky?  Childbirth, come ON, it's a freaking MIRACLE, and God has to make it all gross and stuff.

Ah, just another thing to add to my, "Why, God" questions.   Seriously, though... Isn't there just a ton of weird stuff you want to know about God and what He's thinking on stuff?

Oh yes, back to the Messenger...a couple of really good quotes that just got me.  There's this scene right when Jeanne is talking about the seige of Orleans. 
"And what does Jeanne think?"
"I don't think.  I leave that to God."
So they talk for a moment or two, and Jeanne tells them that if the English don't go home, they should attack the Tourelle.
Dunois (the guy in charge) says "Besides, if we are at the other side of the river attacking the Tourelle, what's to stop Talbot attacking the city from the North?"
"God." Jeanne speaking
"God.  Why of course.  We've forgotten about him." Sarcastic guy, don't know his name. Everyone laughs.
"I feel a great sorrow for you.  You are laughing now, but by tomorrow night, some of you will be dead."  Jeanne speaking
"Jeanne, with respect, we can't just attack the Tourelle like that.  It's a very complicated matter."
"What's so complicated about it.  All you have to do-is do what you're told. What could be simpler than that?"  Jeanne speaking
They banter a bit about it being a girl giving these orders... and Dunois says, "Put yourself in my shoes for a moment. How would you feel if you were me?"
Jeanne says, "Knowing what I know-enormous gratitude."

Well, don't that just beat all?  By far, the most incredible, outstanding, and completely full of awesome God wisdom in two minutes of some weird secular movie about Joan of Arc that has her mostly coming off as a lunatic.  God, my friends, is everywhere.

Don't know where that came from, but it probably beats my other weird and shallow observations for the day.  Speaking of, and going back to the movie... the comraderie between supporting characters was awesome.  I loved the character of Aulon, played by Desmond Harrington, who is going on the list of potential heroes.  And I really loved the whole deal with the blasphemous guy. (in the middle of the scene I just described.  REALLY good scene.  Worth sitting through the bloody bits for, IMO, even though there's only one really bad scene before this one.  However, if you want to fast forward and only watch this one, it's just under an hour into the movie).

I should probably point out that this is like the 4th or 5th time I've watched the movie, we own it, in deference to That Man's preference to gross movies.  He does, however, sit through my countless watchings and re-watchings of movies like How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, so I don't complain overmuch. :)

Speaking of blasphemy, and yes, I admit this is the romance lover in me, but as I was watching the interplay between Aulon and Jeanne, I really thought he was in love with her, even though her mission/mind was on God.  So I was thinking, what if Jeanne didn't get caught and burned at the stake-what if she completed her mission and God let her live out her life in peace?  Wouldn't that be an interesting story?  The hero fights alongside the heroine, not because it's his calling, but because it's hers, and then SHE conquers all, or they do it together, but you know... it's more than just the man rescuing the damsel in distress. 

And okay, let's just go back to my, "Why God" questions, even though, yes, this movie did point out that it's not my job to think, but you know, God made me this way... but I'm digressing-again.  So I want to know, and let's assume here, that Jeanne was truly a messenger of God.  Why did He let her burn?  What Kingdom purpose was there in her suffering?  Moreover, there's this really gross scene where she's surrounded by all the blood and stuff, and she's totally grossed out and confused by it all, because she doesn't understand how God is glorified by all of it.  The next scene, God just makes the English all leave.  Why does God choose to do both?  Even if you look at the Bible, because you think Jeanne was loony tunes, all of these wars the Israelites fought, they were bloody and gory as all get out.  Why not just blow up the bad guys and get it all done with?


At least that's what the little voice is telling me.  Would the victory for the people of France have meant as much if God just smited their enemies on the spot?  Would the victories of the Israelites have meant as much?  Would Christ's sacrifice mean as much if we'd never had the precedent of having to get all bloody and gory to be right with God?  Without sacrifice, victory means nothing.

Then, of course, is the final piece I got from this movie-obedience.  Could you be obedient to the point of being burned at the stake?  If God says, "Don't tell," and telling could save your life, would you be able to obey?  Truthfully, I hate and fear pain.  I don't know if I could or not.  Could be why there's no Saint Danica.  :)  Anyway, the other obedience point I noticed was that when the people (besides Jeanne) were obedient, God delivered them.  He promised Orleans by nightfall, but when Jeanne was wounded, despite her urging to go on, they pulled back.  And the battle was longer and bloodier.

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