First off, this isn’t a movie review. This would be more of unleashing my heart, my thoughts and the goodness and greatness of my God. I remembered a movie I watched almost 2 years ago. The moment it popped out of my mind, I got into a rush of writing a blog post for this.
I borrowed my dorm mate’s laptop and found a DVD inside its bag. The title and the front cover of the DVD caught my attention. Intrigued by the title, I sat down to prepare myself for a movie session. I was the only one left awake in our room that night. I glanced at my screen and started to watch it. It was quite mysterious and serious. Few minutes later, it trapped me in a moment I won’t ever forget. “The Stoning of Soraya M.” left me undone.
It was a story of a woman stoned to death because of his husband’s falsehood and desires. Soraya’s husband was an ambitious man and wanted to be powerful in their place. He wanted to marry a young woman, be separated with Soraya but didn’t want to support his family and return the dowry. For her to support her children, Soraya cooked for a widowed husband. To make the story short, Soraya’s husband falsely accused her of adultery. Following their place’s tradition, her countrymen haunted her, taken her away, buried her, and stoned her to death. It was also painful to see her son stoning her to death. Zarah informed a man-slash-author of the book, who wrote the story of this real life tragedy, of Soraya’s story. Zarah courageously exposed to the journalist stranded in the place all the inhumanity of their law and the death of her niece. That time, justice wasn’t easy. The journalist with the help of Zarah was able to escape with the story and informed the whole world of that violence.
What happened to me while and after watching the movie? I wept, and wept, and wept in tears. My roommates got out of their bed because of my out loud cry. Oh, emotions. I couldn’t fight it. I felt so drained and stunned. “Poor woman”, two words that came out of my mouth.
Why are there oppressive cultural practices in the world? Why are there extreme translations of the scriptures? Why are there religious and traditional practices that lead to discrimination and inhumanity? These are questions in my mind I know would need a lot of researches and readings. But without reading a lot of books and looking for facts, I am sure of one thing, He is love. My God is love.
His word says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” – Ephesians 5:25. Love is the key word. It is a powerful word and expression that must be showed to yourself and to other people. Ephesians 5:31-32 also says, “… “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”[a] 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. God’s ways aren’t to destroy relationships, discriminate, and to devastate human dignity. He loves us higher than a mountain, deeper than the ocean, and wider than the universe. He wants us to be united with our neighbors, partners and even enemies for these are the foundation of our relationship with Him stronger beyond our thinking.
Mixed in my thought is the story of another woman whose nose and ears were hacked off by her husband. I knew of her story while looking for the latest Time Magazine that time. Aesha’s face was the cover photo of that issue. Women are supposed to be loved and be honored. After reading her shocking story, I thanked God for His love poured out to me, His amazing and wonderful love. The Bible emphasizes that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 &13.
Shifting the mood, imagine me writing this while watching a “wedding proposal-marriage” on television. This might be the reason why I suddenly remembered Soraya’s story. It was unusual to see a man planning and preparing for a wedding. But, this guy proved his love to his woman by mixing different ingredients like magic, love and surprises. It was like a fairytale. Her woman wasn’t informed of his plans. He just asked their close friends, coordinated with them, and kept it as a surprise to the girl, for him to set up all things needed for the day. The time finally came. He made a skit for his secret not be learned by her woman. Then, he asked the pretty lady in white dress the four magical words, “Will you marry me?.” The lady answered in tears, “Yes!.” “Am I watching a fairytale?” I asked myself. That moment was splendid. Minutes later, the man invited the lady to a beautiful, fantastic area where the wedding would be held. You could really see happiness and excitement from their eyes and face. They were together for years; at last, they will be together, forever. That was what love’s all about. Giving out what you have, doing things out of your capacity, and loving without conditions.
Let us love, learn how to love, live with love because we are loved. Be in love. Be-loved. And know that, We are HIS beloved.
Finally, I want to share a quotable quote from one of my favorite movies: “So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day…” – Ryan Gosling, The Notebook