I finished the evening with a sigh, I was glad to have had a night out but the content of the film was deeply disturbing.
I am glad that ‘12 years a slave‘ is getting acclaim with awards at the moment, because it means the topic will receive the focus globally it deserves.
However I am not sure it was necessary of the film directors and writers to dwell on the graphic content of the abuse, the violence and the disturbing treatment of the slaves.
Although the film was set in the 1800’s and focused on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man, who was sold into slavery, I found myself relating it to the people who are sold into slavery still today.
Every image made me think of nations like Thailand and India where young men and women everyday are treated in the same inhumane ways, often to provide us with our cheap fish prices, that $2 tshirt from Kmart and the consumerism we take for granted.
I was so personally challenged about what I take granted here in Australia. The freedom, the beach, the safety of my family and more.
Every year Solomon was subjected to the most appalling racism and abuse the most striking part of his character was his undeniable patience.
A man who walked into his family after 12 years of the most appalling of circumstances, asking for forgiveness for being away from them.
He had every right to walk in with righteous anger, asking for preferential treatment, with an attitude of the victim. However he walked in with humility, so grateful that his vision had come to pass and his family were reunited again.
How do you carry yourself through the hardest times of your life?
Do you wait for the vision to be realised with humility and faith?
Do you walk in offence, expecting everyone to help you and make you feel better about the circumstance of your past?
This scripture from Habakuk has been taunting me all day.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; It hastens to the end; it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Hab 2:3
The things I am waiting for are no where near as treacherous as the abuse that Solomon encountered, or people who are in situations of violence and mistreatment. My heart still aches though for the fulfilment of dreams that I long for.
Are you waiting on something of importance?
Do you feel frustrated at the journey?
I have learnt from the story of Solomon Northup and also this scripture today, that the way we carry ourselves in the in-between place, is more important to the fulfilment of the dream anyway. What we learn? Who we treat badly or well along the way?
Laying down our lives for another.
Although the vision awaits, I am desperate to do it with awareness of how blessed I truly am and how many people in our world live lives that are truly desperate and in need of freedom.
I want to live a life that sets people free.
A humble life
A present life
A life full of perspective.
How about you?