I’m embarrassed to say that after a decade leading a religious lifestyle, I don’t know the Bible stories well at all. So when my eldest son and I saw the new movie, Noah, last night, I kept wondering about the details played out in the script, and how closely they followed the biblical narrative.
Still, the wonderment of the movie was deep indeed.
What fascinated me more than the fantastical effects and wonderful theatrics was the fact that as advanced as we think we are in this 21st century life, we keep revisiting the oldest stories, to find our truths.
It doesn’t surprise me. The illusion of wisdom and control still reigns supreme, as we flounder, in search of meaning and answers. We are all yearning to KNOW, and yet we only know what we know today, which tomorrow is deemed as ancient as the story itself.
And so it was, to witness the subtle details of a story we all take for granted:
– That God wiped out humanity’s wickedness by a worldwide flood that only a handful of people survived, and two of each animal.
– That a smoky substance subdued the animals into sleep on the long journey, let they rise up and kill each other.
– That the man chosen to orchestrate such a feat, Noah, loomed on the brink of madness. Such a hefty task. The literal weight of the world on his shoulders.
– That the ultimate truth of this story boils down to choosing love or choosing hate, choosing good or choosing bad. One choice entitles us to life, the other to death.
– That what we see in our dreams may be the word of God directly. How often do we pay attention to the messages given expressly to us?
– And that, in the end, the beauty of the rainbow assures us that God will never destroy the world again. His promise to us, his guarantee of life eternal in the beauty of the colors.
Whether you believe or not, such a story is a huge undertaking. And of course the nuances of an evil character, Cain’s descendant, insisting that man’s job is to dominate over all creation, and that we gain strength from conquering, eating, killing other creatures.
So Noah was a vegetarian, with respect for all life. So many messages, so many items to ponder.
The other day I wrote about how little we read and watch of the positive. How dark and scary and dismal and miserable most stories are – perhaps to shed ourselves of the dark side, to make room for the light.
But then the rest of us carry the darkness within us, a heavy gift, one we wouldn’t have asked for.
Except there aren’t many options of good stories out there.
And yet there is goodness all around, ours for the choosing, if we ca
n see it. Lightness, happiness, joy, connection, community. All there for the taking.
Can you see them? Can you pave your paths with light? Can you walk around the dark, leaving it in the crevices for those who choose to dwell there?
We can see the story of Noah as a story of death and destruction and darkness and fear, all of which were in the movie. A story of fallen angels and loneliness.
Or we can see it as a story of redemption, of goodness everlasting, of partnership with Creation and Creator, of life eternal, of hope.