Did a devotion today. I told God that I was doing out of a sense (sense mind you) of obligation but also just wanting to sit next to Him and bask a little bit. I had listened to some of my favorite worship songs, which are few, and my heart got going. I next read a devotional and hopped over to the playlist entitled RELAXING on the ole iTunes account (#freeadervisementstevejobs). I played a edited rendition of of JOURNEY TO THE LINE by HANS ZIMMER from the soundtrack A THIN RED LINE (#enoughwiththeallcaps). Needless to say, my heart pumps, my mind wonders and a sense of awe overtakes me.
Isn’t weird how soundtracks from movies can do that to you? Play the theme from STAR WARS and I guarantee you most anyone in the world will think of Luke Skywalker whining about power converters at the Tosche Station.
But think of a powerful scene from a movie that really had a good score behind it. A track from the movie, BRAVEHEART, comes to mind when William Wallace is at the funeral for his wife. He is beyond shattered and is probably experiencing too many emotions to put into words. He then sees the father of his wife, MacClannough, grieving alongside his wife who is weeping beyond control. Sensing his part in his wife’s death, he goes over to his father-in-law kneels down in front of him, bearing his eyes to the ground. One is led to believe that Wallace is asking the forgiveness of MacClannough but Wallace is willing to accept whatever reaction he will receive from him. MacClannough’s initial reaction is one of rage and revenge and balls his fist right over Wallace’s head. His hand starts to tremble and it is as if MacClannough is moved by compassion and understanding and places an open hand upon Wallace’s head.
A striking scene from a movie coupled with a strong musical score is meant to make a powerful impression on the viewer. So, when one listens to the score of that particular scene, the memory of that movie, along with the emotion that it elicited, resurfaces. Is it any wonder why people, particularly in this culture, use phrases like, “That’s like the scene from the movie_________ when __________ did______________”
For those who really know me, my mind is one big sound/movie board and I shamelessly attached everyday life with themes from movies. It is my belief that God created all things and thus is weaved in throughout life and that can include a move. Does that make the movie itself holy or directly God-made? That’s a bit of a stretch. But think back on the scene in Braveheart where the father is angry at his son-in-law for the death of his daughter and wants to act out in wrath but instead chooses forgiveness and reconciliation. While not an exact duplicate of God, that scene literally shouts out aspects of the Gospel.
Oddly enough, going back to the track that I am currently listening to, JOURNEY TO THE LINE, this piece brings about a plethora of images and emotions about life in general and about God but I have yet to see the in which it is in! Back when I was going through a Hans Zimmer phase (Couple of times a year), I researched every movie score that he did and I cam across this soundtrack. I listened to it in the comfort of my own room and it was like I was pinned to the floor.
The piece starts out very quite but heavy, like there is something happening that is really powerful. It could be a death, or the impacts of sin, despair, or any other overwhelming negative emotion. At about 51 seconds, the piece picks up and begins to build. Now the music is taking you somewhere. Then it goes from great despair and sadness to powerful hope. But it not the flaky hope that’s offered up to you in cute memes posted on Facebook pages. It’s the kind of hope that borders along the lines of dangerous awe and power. You are completely overtaken by it and it scares you to some extent but the dangers you feel won’t lead you to place where you will be harmed. At about 3:42, the crescendo hits and it is like the Gospel hits you. You are in utter and complete awareness of your sin AND the truth that Christ has always loved you and you are more saved than you could ever hope to imagine.
For all I know, this music might be tied to some really awful and appalling scene in the movie, so the musical score does not hold intrinsic ties to the Almighty. It is more along the lines of what would your life sound like if you had a constant soundtrack playing in the background. Have you ever listened to a movie muted or looked at a behind the scenes footage of a movie BEFORE they put added the amazing sound effects and music?
For me, I think the way God has wired me is to relate to Him through the ideas and themes that are embedded in movies and music. It’s a subjective experience so I don’t always feels that draw in every scene or score that comes down the pike. I don’t think one could extract God’s love from the phrase “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?” by watching Moulin Rouge. BUT…. BUT…. the scene in which Nicole Kidman’s character, Satine, after being assaulted by the Duke, is about to leave this life to which she is ashamed and her boss, Harold Zidler begs her not to go does warrant serious reflection:
Zidler: The Duke is insanely jealousy. Unless you do his ending and sleep
with him tomorrow night, the Duke will have Christian killed.
Satine: He can’t scare us.
Zidler: He’s a powerful man, you know he can do it.
Zidler: What are you doing?
Satine: I don’t need you anymore! All my life you made me believe I was
only worth what someone would pay for me! But Christian loves me. He loves
me Harold. He loves me. And that is worth everything. Were going away from
you, away form the Duke, away from the Moulin Rouge! Good bye Harold.
That scene brings to mind of the internal struggle everyone undergoes when we have allowed negative voices to rule our lives for far too long. This, to me, is an example of someone fed up with slavery and is emancipating themselves by telling the Enemy (or one’s self) that they are exchanging this lie for the Truth.
How do I connect to God? Well, this is one way.