I’m not usually into films. I much prefer reading stories told with well-chosen words than watching some stranger’s subjective interpretation. I’ll take my own subjective interpretation, thank you.
But I stayed up late to watch some movies last night, and I really liked “The End of the Spear.”
Maybe it’s because it’s almost biographical, making a true story seem tangibly real. It tells the story of the four men who were martyred while trying to make contact with the notoriously violent Waodani tribe in Ecuador.
That movie made me remember stuff. Like… I really, really used to adore my dad. And how conspicuously absent he was for so many years. Of all the things I could have taken from the story, a missing father seems like an unlikely choice. Why not be inspired to forgiveness, personal sacrifice, or abandon-it-all service to the Lord? Any of those would make more sense.
But the part that made me cry and left me completely without words was the part where grown-up Steve went back to Ecuador and found the bright yellow model airplane his dad had helped him to build as a child. When he stood on the sandbar where his dad was killed. When he remembered.
That scene made me cry. Movies don’t make me cry. Ever. But that scene made me cry.
Part of me says that I deserve way more sympathy than that kid. At least his father left–died–to serve the Lord. The only reason he didn’t come back was because he was killed. Short of death, nothing could have kept Nick Saint from his family.
Plenty of things could have kept my father from me. And they did.
I’ll never forget hearing my grandmother saying that, though divorce is sad, at least none of us had cancer. At least no one was killed in a car wreck by a drunk driver. We were all still alive. Her theory? That alive and shattered is preferable to dead.
That’s a thought I’ll never be able to come to terms with.