Friday, April 2, 2010

Godzilla Resurrected - a note from Paul

Decay and corruption can only hold power over something that is dying. That is an amazing thought to me. My entire Christian life was rocked when I heard the admonition “do not try to change the old man, he’s dead, put him off.” Yet daily my spiritual eyes grow heavy and I slip back into a comfortable dream world like being lulled to sleep by a lullaby. A place where visions of getting it all together and organized fill me with false hope and the bravado which endangers myself and others.

Or worse maybe. My head dances with the nightmare of a zombie, an animated corpse, whose desperate attempts to conduct itself as one of the living fills itself only with frustrated anger. Perhaps that is why those movies are violent, the acting out of a hidden self-loathing. Perhaps that is why we find so often in Christian circles an atmosphere of cultured and highly refined abuse. Where the individual’s worth is rejected, ever so delicately, and the group’s purity is embraced instead.

The desire for a Savior who only “instructs“ is a poison that goes down like a chocolate Easter bunny. Ears tickle with the oath “I will save the rest” but soon the whole thing sits in your belly, churning away. One more book, one more bit of new knowledge, some choice bit of info, calls out as if it could reanimate a stone heart. “Learning “ dances before our eyes enticing us with the lie that it has the breath of life to offer, but it will only leave us panting in exhaustion after the waltz.

When God enlightens the heart it is never with words void of power. The master over his creation, he gives life not with ideas or ideologies, but with words carried on the wind of his breath. That is why he said “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. ... Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. ...” The true power in scripture is found in accepting the speaker, not just the spoken.

All this thought from the memory of a film clip that resurfaces from time to time in my mind. This short scene has traveled with me like a hidden message unopened until this year. A flash of a recollection that the adult in me, busy with bills and family, has time and again brushed aside. But now the seal of it was broken by some gentle breeze passing over it, or maybe by the few moments of acceptance I gave it. It wasn’t written or shot with the intention of communicating things eternal. Dear God, not at all. This is something from the world of a child, something a boy once thrilled over. Godzilla.

Not the Original black and white masterpiece with its slow and deliberate shots of the Japanese suffering from radiation sickness. Ho No, nothing so grand. It’s from the class of movies with men in rubber monster suits tramping about on a set of miniatures, dueling out. Movies complete with toy tanks and jet planes on wires and poor dubbing. They are the purely ridiculous Saturday morning creature double feature ones.

Godzilla is defeated. Two monsters completely trounce him into submission, and bury him alive beneath tons of dirt. One of the hideous beasts actually dances on his grave tamping down the earth till there is only one conclusion, Godzilla is dead. The hero of Japan is gone leaving Destruction free to roam and destroy. Time passes in the film, and with it, all hope in a childish mind … But then the earth begins to stir as if some invisible hand was reaching down to dig. A young heart skips a beat. The evil victors in their rampage pause as a grave explodes; and claws raised, Godzilla roars his challenge. His eyes levy with his foes, sand pours off his face. You know he is undefeatable now – for hell only has power over that which is dead, never over something resurrected.

I think of this clip that popped in my mind from time to time and wonder. Did an almighty God, a being of incalculable power, sit down with a young sparrow of a boy and fellowship with him watching a meaningless movie? Did he highlight an image of baptism, of redemption, and give the boy his first glimpse of the Gospel? Could it be even remotely true that God is that involved in our lives to leave a message that he has always been there?

Or is it just as the adult, intellectual, reasonable man would say, “The middle aged mind romanticizes the past” or “this is a common and misleading phenomenon produced in the psychology of a developing mind resurfacing through the trigger of stress in the adult life.”

Well …to hell with all that reasonable babble. I am tired of being lulled to sleep by a lullaby of rationality. I am tired of managing dead flesh with dead words. I want to become like a little child with my Father. I want to believe.

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