Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Village

while reading the book PRACTITIONERS: Voices from within the Emerging Church this weekend, I was spurred on to view M. Night Shaymalan's The Village. On Easter night, we watched it. I know that a lot of people did not like the movie, I, for one, was not one of them. I enjoyed it. It is not a supsence movie, nor would I say a 'thriller' either. as someone from IMDB said regarding the film: "Brilliantly nuanced, subtle, smart, and expertly played..."

my reaction after viewing THE VILLAGE
What comes to mind?
What or where is my village?
To me, the Village is SAFETY, INNOCENCE, THE WAY THINGS USED TO BE, with HIDDEN SECRETS not forgotten, but ignored.
The Village is avoiding reality. avoiding a "sinful world", thus avoiding the chances to be salt & light.
The Village is taking the easy way out - for the sake of genuine thought that life is supposed to be lived that way.
in the village those with eyes cower in fear and those who have not fear not. The blind see and do and dream and colorize that which is gray.

"how the blind risk, how the blind see love,
how they live beyond fear, and reach
out their hands to succumb to trust..."*

those of us with eyes - are we not seeing? do we not trust?
we stay confined to our village of safety at what gain? at what cost?
We think and feel we are genuinely doing what is right.
no harm in that. but are we missing a kaleidoscope of opportunity?

in Mark 8:22-26 Jesus heals a blind man...

They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"
He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around."
Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go into the village"

Jesus took the man outside of the village. Why?
He asekd "do you see anything?" ANYTHING? a blind man - his sight now restored - what does he see? PEOPLE!
then there is us... the ones with sight.. what do we see? are our eyes and minds numb to that which is around us? PEOPLE! we walk in shopping malls and on sidewalks and we look away or down at the ground. We do not see anything. because seeing makes us uncomfortable.

Jesus took the blind man outside of the sounds and smells of his village... his familiarity... his saftey (even in his blindness). maybe the heartbeat of God and the love of God can only truly be seen when we are outside of our safety zone... a zone that is all too familiar. all to comfortable. so comfortable that our eyes do not see anything at all.

The blind take risks because they have nothing to lose... they are already blind... what will we do? the blind have true faith... and know what it means to trust.
God, may there be a lesson in this for us... for me... for everyone.

*Greg Russinger from the book Practitioners

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