There’s something about watching a good film or TV series isn’t there? It is great to unwind, and absorb ourselves in something beyond the immediate, and imagine a new world of possibilities- even if just briefly. A good film tells a story; it has drama, suspense, intrigue. A good story gives us a lens to see the world in a new way. So, when I went to see Silence I was hoping for all those things, but I was also aware that this film was probably going to be a bit different.
The differences I was expecting to see were seeing the cultural clashes of East and West, the suffering torture (which is hard to watch in places), and the way it questioned some of my assumptions of faith. However, what I didn’t expect is that I would find it to be a spiritual experience; I didn’t expect to be praying in the middle of the film.
I don’t want to give too much away, but for those who don’t know, Silence is based on the novel by Shusaku Endo (I’m currently reading the book). The drama is based on two devout Jesuit priests from Portugal who in the early 17th century risk violence and persecution as they journey to Japan in search of their mentor. If you are looking for a feel good happy ending story; then don’t watch it! This film is for those who want to wrestle with faith, and are ready to or are already being stretched.
Martin Scorsese (director) sums up the film well: “Silence is the story of a man who learns – so painfully – that God’s love is more mysterious than he knows, that He leaves much more to the ways of men than we realize, and that He is always present… even in His silence.”
It was in the silent parts of the film that made it a piece of art. The silence gave time to breathe. Time to think and catch up what was going on. The silence also allowed me space to be before God and to pray.
If you are finding that God is a bit silent now in your life, you’re not sure if God is interested in you or hearing you, be assured He is always present…even in His silence. See the silence as part of your journey and growth with God, for God promises to always be with us even in the silence, and that gives us great hope.