Revenant: (n. one who has returned, as if from the dead)
Alert: The following is just a reflection (not a review), but it contains subtle spoilers. If you have seen the film and know anything about our story, the connections are fairly easy to make. If not, you might want to stop reading here.
The Revenant is one of the most beautiful yet painful stories I have ever seen on the silver screen. Like real life, it is definitely not “entertaining” or for the faint of heart.
The first time I saw it I came away thinking that the story of Hugh Glass seemed vaguely familiar. It reminded me of something. The second time I came away feeling that his story bears an eery resemblance to the story of our church.
So, when a friend asked me to share some of our backstory with him (so that he would have a better idea of what to preach to us when he visits us), I said, “Have you seen The Revenant? It’s like a graphic portrayal of our story.”
Like Hugh Glass, we have been attacked and chased by enemies in the midst of our work. We have lost many companions. Some left us to save themselves. Others betrayed and abandoned us. Some even took away people we loved.
We have been mauled and wounded by unexpected trials. We were left for dead, but we did not lose our life. Rather, we were raised up from the pit — slowly, not suddenly.
We breathed and kept on breathing. We strained and struggled.
We scratched until we could crawl. We crawled until we could limp. We limped until we could walk. We walked until we could ride.
We have eaten whatever the Lord has provided. We have traveled whatever path the Lord set before us.
Along the way help has come from many unexpected places.
Friends have nursed us. Fire has warmed us. Memories have consoled us. Strangers have fed us. Ruins have sheltered us. Captives have been set free. Story has shaped us. Enemies have fled us. Love has guided us.
We are on mission for redemption not revenge. Our hearts bleed, but revenge is in God’s hands not ours.
We grieve our defeats and glory in his deliverance. Our sins were like scarlet, but he makes them white as snow.
When there is a storm we stand in front of the Tree. And we see its stability when the Wind blows through it.
We ain’t afraid to die anymore. We’ve done it already — in Christ.