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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Schindler's List

Last nite I thought I would just have a movie and a junk food nite with chips and pop. For those of you who know me will know this is highly unusual. But I popped by the movie store and they were having a special deal where there were select movies that you could rent for 99c. These were ones that were customer picks.  After looking at the selection, I picked up "Schindlers List" and decided that that I would like to spend my evening watching that movie. I hadn't seen it in a long time and little did I know that I would get such an amazing revelation of the journey of faith by watching this movie.

I'm going to briefly summarize the movie. The movie is about a Nazi business man named Oskar Schindler.  The movies starts out with him employing Jews to work for  them. At first he is business minded and sees them as workers to make him money. But half way through he has a change of heart and decides to buy as many workers as possible that he would own and therefore would be redeemed and not have to risk being killed in the concentration camps.

Where the film really got to me is how Oskar Schindler treated every person that he bought. Even though that person looked like every other person at the concentration camp, once he bought them he made sure that the person was treated very differently than other people that did not belong to him. He made sure that they were safe and took steps to ensure proper transportation and treatment of those that he had purchased.

Not only that, but unbeknownst to his workers, he would arrange meetings with the Nazi guards and made it very clear that no one at his factory and property was to be shot or threatened or be subject to violence of any sort.  He had to make this clear because it was quite common for Nazi guards to have been treating the Jews less than human at other camps and factories.

One scene that strikes me is when a bunch of women were made to strip down and they were put into a room. The room had shower heads in them and the women had all heard about people being gassed to death. You could see the fear in their eyes, utterly convinced that this was the end for them. But instead of gas coming out of the shower heads, life giving water pours out of them. In a scene shortly after, when the women have taken a shower and are dressed, they turn to see another line of people walking through a building very similar to the one they went into.  Only those people weren't so lucky to have water come out of the showerheads :(

Where I was really touched my the movie is the way Oskar Schindler really was working in the background to ensure the safety and welfare of all those who belonged to him. They had no clue that he was arranging things in their favor.  I liken this to the journey of faith. Here I am, stepping out of my comfort zone and giving the little that I have for a vision much bigger than myself. I have left behind the opportunity for a comfortable cushy life for the great adventure.

And more and more i am finding that God already has gone ahead of me arranged things to happen in a certain way even before i reach that moment.  At times I look like any other person just going about his or her business. But when you've taken that step to pour out your heart and life for the path you are meant to be on, he will align things for you specifically.  In the same way none of the good treatment that those Jews got was a coincidence, everything that happens or doesn't happen to me has already been arranged ahead of time to happen in a certain way.

Knowing this, I can walk with confidence planning my second trip to Buenos Aires. I can spend over $200 on books and $50 on a suitcase. And I know in my heart that he has already gone ahead and is arranging what will or won't happen to me. It's funny because everytime that I've gone and spent that money on something that I feel I was meant to, I actually don't miss that money. I don't feel put out in any way.  It's like this sense of peace that I have that I've done exactly with that money what I was supposed to do and I'm actually excited to see that money go and to be sowing it into something that has vision and purpose.

A memorable scene in the movie is when the announcement that the war is about to end at 12 midnight that nite. That means at 12 midnite, the Jews would be free and Oskar Schindler would now be considered a criminal because he is in fact a Nazi. He saved 1100 Jews and they wrote a letter explaining what he did for them so that if he was ever captured and questioned, that letter would be his redemption.  All 1100 of them signed the letter. You see, after the war many Nazis were imprisoned or hanged for war crimes.  A letter like that would be his saving grace. He made a decision to attempt to redeem them and in turn one day they became his redemption when the tables turned on the Nazis.

 Anyone who knows a thing or two about the Jewish culture is that they carry people's legacies very well. A good deed or an important is never forgotten, it is told to your children and your children's children generation after generation.  At the end of the movie, it stated that there were more than 6000 descendants of Schindler Jews. The 1100 Jews he protected by hiring them in his factories multiplied and became their own breed of "Schindler Jews".  Hitler may have had his name widespread during his lifetime but he ultimately died alone in a bunker without an heir and today his name is held with disdain.

 Schindler's name may not have been chanted by millions during a campaign but because of the sacrifice he made, his name is held with honor and  his "descendants" continue to multiply generation after generation.  Being a Nazi was once a thing that caused someone to fear and respect but when the war was over, being identified as a Nazi only brought scorn. If Schindler had not taken that bold step to try and help the Jews, he would have had to carry the mark of shame and dishonor that came with being identified as a Nazi. But his heroic efforts not only saved the lives of others but saved the reputation and honor of his name and family line as the story of Schindler's  heroism get's told generation after generation....

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