Today was one of those days where so many things came together that I couldn’t help but see the Lord’s hand at work. Day started with a message to our church elders sharing about the necessity of listening to how the Spirit speaks through each of us as we work on discerning some steps ahead for us as a church. I then headed out for a hike fully focused on listening to the Spirit as I was out on a beautiful day today. Taking some time to read at a bench, I came to James chapter 1 in my daily readings, specifically verse 19…
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.
Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. Wise words that we can all heed more than we do.
The morning culminated by a spur-of-the-moment decision to see the new movie, Arrival at the theater near the nature center. Its hard to really even put into words what I experienced during the film, but it was one of those experiences in a theater where I felt like I was fully immersed in what I was seeing on the screen. The movie captures these words of James so powerfully (probably not intentionally of course). It is a film that is sci-fi at its finest – not just aliens and lasers and explosions, but more importantly a larger message that resonates with current day. I was transfixed by the film and the underlying message of how vital it is to listen and learn and what happens when you begin to see through the eyes of the “other.”
I don’t want to give away much about the film but this is an “alien visitation” film that is unlike any other that I’ve seen. It is emotional, powerful, and filled with deep meaning. In so much today it is about who speaks the loudest, who says or does the most outrageous thing, it was so refreshing to take in something that was beautifully understated but expresses a message about what can make us better people and a better society…if only we would listen.