So, with it being a rainy day, I put on my lazy pants and turned on a movie. Going along with the chapter 40 reference I decided to watch 'Contact' again. The deep space movie with Jodie Foster. I have written a previous post about this movie and will put a link at the bottom if you would like to read that post.
Anyway, I wanted to see if my reaction to the movie would be as strong as the last time I actually watched it, which was over 20 years ago. I watched that movie late at night and remember going into the bathroom and covering my face with a towel as I wept so hard I thought I would be sick. I wept at the grace shown to me by God. I wept at the love that I had from a Father who cherished me. I wept because in the eyes of the world I was so small and insignificant, but in His eyes I was His beloved daughter. I wept because although my earthly father may have failed me, my heavenly Father never could, never would.
To me that is the premise of this movie. Take away all the secular things going on, boil it all down and I see the love of the Father for His creation.
We see Jodie Foster as Ellie. She loses her dad at a young age and forever after is searching for something more. Always listening into the outer reaches of the skies for 'something', or Someone. Sitting in the desert, alone with an array of antennae that constantly search the sky. Those antennae turning to and fro, seeking for some sign, anything to prove that she is not alone. Ellie has chosen science over everything else, even over relationship with other people. She wants what can be proven.
Finally after years of searching she hears a sound, a message. And following the message a machine is built, to take her where she does not know, but she is determined to go there. What will she find? She doesn't know, but she is sure it is not God. Her statement is, " So what's more likely? That an all-powerful, mysterious God created the Universe, and decided not to give any proof of his existence? Or, that He simply doesn't exist at all, and that we created Him, so that we wouldn't have to feel so small and alone?"
She wants something that can be explained, that can be quantified. And she is determined to find it, even to the extent of losing her life in the process.
So the machine is built. She is sent off, who knows where. Or should I say God knows where. She appears to travel through wormholes and outer space to end up on a deserted beach. A beach that resembles a picture that she drew for her father before he died. She sees a figure walking towards her. It looks like her dad. Of course in the movie it is an alien who comes in a form that seems safe for her. He tells her, "You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we found that makes the emptiness bearable, each other."
That to me is the message. We all feel so lost and alone. I remember so many times as a child feeling like no one loved me. Feeling as though I had no one to turn to. With parents who were alcoholics, lost in their own sad place. I drifted through life seeking to fill that hole with anything I could find. Alcohol, drugs, fleeting relationships. Nothing could fill that empty space in me. That black hole of despair and alienation. Fear and dejection my constant companions. But one day I met the One who would take all of that away. As Palmer Joss in the movie states, "So I was lying there, just looking at the sky... and then I felt something. I don't know I... all I know is that I wasn't alone, and for the first time in my life... I wasn't scared of nothin'... I mean, not even dying. It was God!" I felt for the first time in my life like I mattered. I was loved. I was created for a purpose. I was not a mistake, my life was not meaningless. I may have been like a grain of sand on the beach, but I was His grain of sand, formed and hand polished by the great Creator!
But how do you explain that to those who don't know Him. How do you clarify that to those who don't want to hear? It is something that science cannot quantify. It is a life changing moment. It is a life altering, super nova explosion that forever reshapes and alters your life. It is the moment that darkness becomes light and that you hear the sound that your soul's antenna has been seeking for. It is hearing Him say, "Child, you are mine". It is a gut-wrenching, heart-twisting, mind-blowing moment. When you realize you are not alone. You have never been alone. You just have not to that juncture seen, you have not heard. Now your eyes are open, now your ears apprehend. The love of a Father so great, so good.
You experience what you have been searching for your whole life. The cancellation of the endless emptiness. The cessation of the darkness, the suspension of the silence, the respite from the fear and loneliness. You experience Him.
At the end of the movie Ellie appears before a panel to determine what happened during the mission. There appeared to be a failure, the machine did not seem to go anywhere. Only a moment passed before the machine fell through the bottom and it all appeared to be over. She is told she has no evidence, no proof that what she experienced happened. Nothing scientific to prove her experience. She is told to concede that she has no evidence this journey took place. You can see she is torn. She is in tears as she says, " I... had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever... A vision... of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how... rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are *not*, that none of us are alone! I wish... I... could share that... I wish, that everyone, if only for one... moment, could feel... that awe, and humility, and hope. But... That continues to be my wish."
Oh friend, how it is my wish that you could experience the joy, the awe, the knowledge that our Father loves you so. That you are not inconsequential. That you are not worthless. That you are not a mistake or a bother or an aberration. You are rare. You are precious. You are a child of God. The only thing you have to do is to turn your eyes towards Him. Listen to His voice calling your name. And then run to Him and let His love enfold you. He is here. He is near. He is not out in the deep dark reaches of space, He is right here ready to receive you, ready to accept you into His arms. Just reach out.
All movie quotes from imbd.com
Link to previous post on Contact, https://www.justmeredeemed.com/blog/we-have-contact