"The King's Speech" is the best motion picture of the year 2010. It may, in fact, be the best motion picture of the past decade. But that is not what this blog post is about.
This blog post is about the fact that "The King's Speech" is the strongest proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in a cinematic movie setting in eons...(or at least since The Passion of the Christ).
If you haven't seen "The King's Speech, go. Go now. Drop what you are doing and go. After hours of prompting and persuasion by my family members and friends, I went to see the late showing of the movie on a Tuesday night. In Paso Robles, the only other living being in a movie theater at 10:00PM on a Tuesday night are the itinerant mice who are eating slivers of popcorn dust off the Sprite covered theater floor. It was still worth it.
The plot, in a nutshell, is that late George VI is made monarch of Great Britain and the Global Commonwealth of His Majesties Empire through an abdication of the throne by his wayward, and party going brother, Edward VIII. George VI is a very intelligent man, but he has a chronic stutter. So chronic is his stutter, that it is nearly impossible for him to speak to his children, talk to his wife, give directions to his servants, and not to mention to address the nation in a time of war.
All of these elements and plot lines would have made for a very compelling movie, but not for a gospel presentation.
The gospel of "The King's Speech", if you will, occurs when a would-be, and self-proclaimed speech therapist from Australia, Lionel Logue, helps George VI overcome his linguistic impediment. Through a very compassionate, kind loving and, dare I say, pastoral approach, Lionel listens to the King's life story, unearths elements of pain and shame from George's past, encourages the king to listen to his own voice, and empowers the king to do what he was born to do.
In sum, Lionel helped George VI to speak, and in doing so, changed the world
Here is what I was struck by for my own faith and ministry. Very often, in Christianity and in ministry, we feel that we must change an entire person's life, alter the entire course of their existence, reorient a person's entire modus operundi, if they are to receive salvation. More often, the answer to helping a person experience metamorphosis in Christ is as simple as helping a person to form the very words that they cannot express, which are laying latent and unexpressed on their muted tongues and hearts.
Once, when Jesus was walking in a downtown square in Galilee, a woman came up and touched the hem of his cloak. Her life was otherwise unexceptional except for the painful fact that she had been suffering from menstrual bleeding most of her adult life. In touching Jesus' cloak, the woman was instantly healed. Her life was changed. It is noteworthy what Jesus did do and what he did not do here. Jesus did not psychoanalyze the woman, or deconstruct her entire past present and future. He simply helped to fix the one glaring issue, and struggle of her entire life.
In watching this movie, I was reminded once again, how helping a person with a very small thing (or what might seem like a small thing to you) can literally change a person's life, and in doing so, redirect the entire course of their eternal destiny. You and I can change the world too.
All For Now,