Faith that sees the unseen
I went to watch Pan’s Labyrinth, expecting it to be a thourough fantasy movie, perhaps with a proportion like 90% fantasy, 10% reality. But it turned out that it wasn’t like other fantasy movies such as The Lord of the Rings or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. These are great movies, needless to say. But, Pan’s Labyrinth is unique in the sense that in it, fantasy and reality are interwoven almost seamlessly. The movie left me pondering again on the great question of reality, the connection between the natural and the supranatural, and faith to see the unseen.
Movies like The Lord of the Rings, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and, now, Pan’s Labyrinth always brings me to think about stories, about metanarratives. And it always reminds me of the great metanarrative in which the whole world and I live. Not everybody knows this metanarrative, although everybody is in it, and even fewer still are those who know and also believe in this metanarrative.
Yes, this metanarrative is that revealed in the Bible. The major themes of it are often abbreviated as CFRC (Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation). To think that this metanarrative is the only reality all of us are in, is overwhelming. The world always entices us to believe that nature is all there is. And I am sometimes too dull to realise all times that reality is not just what I see with these physical eyes, that reality is not just what I sense with my sensory organs. But that is the truth. This metanarrative tells me that there are things beyond the visible. And in Pan’s Labyrinth, I was reminded once again of the beauty of having a faith that sees the unseen, that of the little girl, Ofelia.
Ofelia’s faith sees what nobody else sees. She lives that faith out, and that tells us how strong her belief is. This is what impressed me the most. Again, what makes Pan’s Labyrinth unique is the large proportion of reality it has as compared to its fantasy, or rather, Ofelia’s fantasy. But what to others a fantasy is to her a reality. Ofelia’s mother tells her that there is no such thing as magic in this world. But she clings to what she believes.
Christians are called believers. They believe in reality that is unseen. Christians believe that God is working in this world. They believe that God created the universe. They believe that sin has marred man’s relationship with God, that by sin came death to all men. They believe in virgin’s birth. They believe in the power of the cross, through which all things are reconciled to God. They believe in the forgiveness of sins. They believe in resurrection. They believe in eternal life. Christians believe what to others seems to be a fantasy.
How strong is our belief in what we believe to be true will be evident in the way we live. I am thankful that Pan’s Labyrinth reminded me of this.
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- February 6, 2007 / 14:25