Last night Ken and I watched The Book Thief. If you have not seen the movie, it is definitely worth your time! It is a tear-jerker so be prepared. Don’t worry I don’t think my post will be much a of a spoiler if you haven’t seen the movie. If you do see the movie though it will more context of what I am trying to say in this post. Here is a quick plot summary for this must see movie.
In 1938, the young girl Liesel Meminger is traveling by train with her mother and her younger brother when he dies. Her mother buries the boy in a cemetery by the tracks and Liesel picks up a book, “The Gravediggers Handbook”, which was left on the grave of her brother and brings it with her. Liesel is delivered to a foster family in a small town and later she learns that her mother left her because she is a communist. Her stepmother, Rosa Hubermann, is a rude but caring woman and her stepfather, Hans Hubermann, is a simple kind-hearted man. Liesel befriends her next door neighbor, the boy Rudy Steiner, and they go together to the school. When Hans discovers that Liesel cannot read, he teaches her using her book and Liesel becomes an obsessed reader. During a Nazi speech where the locals are forced to burn books in a bonfire, Liesel recovers one book for her and the Major’s wife Ilsa Hermann witnesses her action. Meanwhile Hans hides the Jewish Max Vandenburg, who is the son of a deceased friend that saved his life in the war, in the basement of his house and Liesel becomes his friend. One day, Rosa asks Liesel to deliver laundry to the Major and Ilsa invites Liesel to go to her library and tells that she can visit her to read whenever she wants. But in times of war there are many threats and the lives of Liesel, her family and friends will never be the same.
– Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The narrator in the movie is actually ‘Death’. I know it sounds morbid, but the personality of death in this movie is not like the Grim Reaper. This personality manifests as a voice telling the story of how he comes for each one, and how they GO with him. He shares their last thoughts and feelings as they transition from this life. By the end of the movie, I was actually quite annoyed with the smug attitude that comes with Death, because in the end he always wins no matter how much we fight.
Lately fear and death have been pestering me. Mostly at night as soon as my head hits the pillow, FEAR comes and gives me more fear of losing more than we already have, and Sadness comes reminding me of all the dreams that have seemingly died, and once again Fear overwhelms me with the idea that all the choices we have made in following Jesus will all have been for no point and our lives, and our kids lives, are just going to end in ruins. Then for the first time in my life the fear of dying came over me. I can remember feeling like I will be alone and forgotten in my death, and that I was not relevant to anyone anymore.
So needless to say watching Death parade itself in this movie triggered a lot in me last night After watching the movie, I began to journal and tell Death what I actually knew to be true, but for some reason had not been PROCLAIMING. I told Death, yes you come to kill, steal and destroy and it seems you have the final word over everyone’s life, but actually you don’t. When you come for me, He will be right there with me. And then I began to praise Jesus as I was talking to death saying….
“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your Presence?
If I go up to the heavens, You are there.
If I make my bed in the depths(Sheol), You are there!”
When I finished praising Jesus, I said to death, ‘Yeah you know the one I am praising right now because He defeated you-yes, you took Him but don’t you remember He rose again-He is the Living One, the Resurrection the Life. And when I am afraid again of the power you hold, I will comfort myself with the very words of my Savior as He says,
“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
I am the Living One and I was dead
and behold I am Alive for and ever!
And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
And again when I lay dying I will again take courage with theses words from the Living One,
“I will ransom them(you) from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them(you) from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
Where, O grave, is your destruction?”
Then I still heard Death gloating because of how many he still holds so I just pointed to the end of the story where it says, that “death and Hades gave up the dead,” and then were given the opportunity to stand before their maker. And then the best part I showed him was where it said,
“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.”
And you know even when I showed Death his fate, he was still quite smug because of all the damage he has done in people’s lives and will continue to do until “that day.” So I began to search the scriptures to find God’s answer to him and I came across this beauty!
“Since the children have flesh and blood,
He too shared in their humanity so that by His death,
He might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is the devil
and FREE THOSE who ALL THEIR LIVES WERE HELD
IN SLAVERY BY THEIR FEAR OF DEATH.”
Again, I spoke to the enemy of my soul, the devil, the one who holds the power of death, that where you enslaved me with the fear of death, Jesus is setting me FREE from that fear and EVERYONE ELSE who puts their hope in Him! And then I reveled in the Truth that the reign of death is almost over because a new heavens and a new earth is coming and I took great joy in reading,
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men,
and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
THERE WILL BE NO MORE DEATH,
or mourning or crying or pain,
FOR THE OLD ORDER OF THINGS HAS PASSED AWAY!”
So, where you Death have filled my heart with the fear of being irrelevant and forgotten, you will reap what you have sown because one day your reign will end and you will be the one who is not relevant anymore! And until that day, as I tolerate your reign, I will tell Everyone of your coming demise and let you know that to me, you are only the vehicle for me to finally see my Savior face to face!