See Christ in Others

see christ in others

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I was thinking about Steven Spielberg one day.

My two oldest kids and I had recently finished watching his mini-series, Band of Brothers. It’s a great World War II story;  very intense, and definitely not a family flick (I was especially grateful for the heads-up to have the kids skip a brief scene at the beginning of episode 9)! It occurred to me after watching this series and chatting about it (and how much I tend to enjoy Steven Spielberg movies) with the kids and with various friends that part of what I liked about this series, in spite of its intensity and grit, was that he and Tom Hanks (who co-produced the series with him) really treat the subject matter and especially the people involved with reverence.

I recognized this reverence in a number of his other movies too – you can certainly see it in Schindler’s List, Prince of Egypt, Minority Report. Even Indiana Jones, which is more light-hearted and even frivolous at times, has a certain amount of this – particularly in The Last Crusade. It’s a lovely thing!

That reminded me of one of our literature discussions with my high school students – on the Iliad. The Iliad is full of grit and gore too, but I was particularly struck during this particular reading (my third time through the book) at how carefully the author makes us feel the tragedy of each death by giving us a sense of the doomed man’s family, background, loved ones, etc. The book makes you hate the ugliness of senseless war and violence and the stupid things people do to cause it. This is something entirely different than, say, the gladiatorial games of Roman times, that worked on the level of de-humanization and de-sensitization and caused the viewers to desire blood and death.

These concepts made me think of how we should treat (and sometimes don’t treat) individual people that we encounter with reverence. As people who are follows of Christ and on the pro-Life side of things, we should be particularly mindful of this. The first thing that comes to mind in this regard are the most vulnerable, including babies, the disabled, and the elderly. But surely this is true of everyone: we are all in need of this reverence, but some might be even harder for us to look at in this light – the cranky neighbor, the immigrant, the mentally ill, or anyone that might be an answer to the question “Who is it most difficult for me to love?”