Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Lincoln"--More Than Just a Movie Review

Micah and I took our date night this past weekend to head to the movies.  This does not happen often.  The timing of our regular babysitting group has to line up just right with a showtime in order for us to make it to those comfy reclining seats, but this time it worked out perfectly so we bought our tickets and headed into a packed theater.  Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" was the movie of choice.  I saw the preview for the movie one time and for whatever reason (a.k.a. God) felt a strong urge to go see it.  I am a visual learner in general, so give me a bit of history on a movie screen and I knew I would come to understand that moment in the books much better than I had understood it before.  I sat hand in hand with my man in a dark room surrounded by many others as I not only watched history come to life, but oh so much more.

If you haven't even heard about the movie, here is the trailer for you to watch...

I can not say enough positive things about this movie.  My movie review would be short and simple: Two thumbs up from this household--go see it!  My extended review that goes beyond the movie itself would be the following:

There is a line spoken in the movie (and in the movie trailer above) that stirs the emotions of my soul.  President Abraham Lincoln, remarking about the importance of the ratification of the 13th Amendment (to abolish slavery) says, "This settles the fate for all coming time.  Not only of the millions now in bondage, but of unborn millions to come."  Oh, yes, President Lincoln, oh yes.  As I sat there watching the 13th Amendment being fought over and eventually signed in front of my eyes Saturday night, I wept tears of abundant thanksgiving for this immensely critical moment in the history of our country and world.  Freedom for the black-skinned creations of God.  Freedom, as Lincoln said, for the millions then and for the millions unborn.  Freedom for a daughter I had no idea God would bless me with.  Freedom for our family to include such a precious soul into our hearts and lives.  Freedom for Nora Josephine.  In that moment on December 6, 1865--almost 147 years ago--my life, my personal life, was changed by a room full of men I will never meet nor get to thank personally.  I just wept in the theater as I thanked my God for each of them.  I thanked God for President Lincoln's deep conviction and desire to see all men and women, regardless of the color of their skin, equal.  I thanked God for bringing Nora into our lives to make moments of our country's history mean something more powerful than it ever did previously.  I thanked Him for this thread of history touching our lives in such a rich and meaningful way.

No, Nora, is not an African American.  She is not a descendent of an American slave family who would have been released from their chains of bondage because of what President Lincoln did.  However, she is still a descendent of a slave family in Haiti.  The Africans were shipped to Haiti as slaves just the same as they were shipped to the shores of North America.  They were abused just the same.  They were killed just the same.  They had their own slave revolt and fought for their freedom (and won!).  There was much blood shed on the ground of Haiti for Nora's rights as a human being just as there was blood shed on the ground of the United States of America.  Because of both histories and better yet, because of both countries' heroes, we are grateful. This moment of the 13th Amendment in American history, as well as the account of the Haitian Slave Revolt, has changed our lives forever and made possible the adoption of a beautiful black-skinned child of the Most High God to our white-skinned family.

Tears of thankfulness and joy, deep appreciation for victorious freedom, and the blessing of having our lives touched by the past...it was so much more than just a movie on a Saturday night for me.  It was so much more than just a two thumbs up.  It was the work of God in our history being seen as a work of God on the big screen that touched the work of God in my own life...it left an impact to my core.  I can not help but encourage others to go see the movie and allow that one defining moment in our country's history to also impact your current day-to-day life in a more intimate way.

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