Thursday, February 09, 2006

Full Circle

There are those rare times in life--maybe after you've lived long enough--when something from your past comes around again full circle.

The End of the Spear movie, currently in theaters here in the States, is one such time. I went to see it Tuesday and wanted to bawl like a baby.

(Click image for movie site)

It started for me in January, 1956, 50 years ago, when the the world was shocked by the story of the 5 missionaries martyred by the spears of Auca indians in Ecuador. What an impression on an 11-year-old girl! During the following years, as I went into junior high and then high school, Elisabeth Elliot's book, The Savage My Kinsman, captured my heart. She was one of the widows and told the story. It became early inspiration for my aspiration to work as a missionary-linguist amongst indigenous indians in Peru. Wycliffe Bible Translators was the forum I chose for that heart-cry, back when I was 24.

It's a long time since those days! So much has changed for me...and them. In fact, the Aucas are now called the Waodanis. And though once so savage they were "extincting" themselves, today they thrive, and now even have grandfathers, something they didn't have 50 years ago. It's a marvelous story of redemption. Of how one of the widows (Elisabeth Elliot) and a sister (Rachel Saint) went back to face the ones who had killed their loved ones, believing there was a way for forgiveness and transformation.

I have said many times that transformation is possible but rare. People often don't have what it takes to do the hard work. Or they're not willing to dance the Dance. It takes two to dance. The Waodanis were confronted by their actions (you can read the story for yourself or see the movie) and responded to those who helped them learn the Dance. Thus it has become one of the greatest stories of all time!

Now, if only we could get the rest of our present world to lay down their spears and find a different way to resolve their (perceived) differences! Countries learning to dance together. Wouldn't that be the day!

And we'd eventually have a 50th-anniversary movie to remind us!


  1. Sounds like a great movie. Hope it makes it to Europe soon. Otherwise, I'll just buy the DVD on my next trip to Canada given that it's "out there", of course.

  2. I like your perspective on this story, and the focus on non-violent ways to be united.

    I hope we can talk at length sometime about this very big topic.

  3. I liked your phrase - Countries learning to dance together. That's a good dream.

  4. CS: I'll be very surprised if it makes it to Europe, but who knows. If people don't know the story (as I did), will they want to see it? Don't know. Hmm.

    Ruth: Thanks, and yes--we definitely need to talk about this!

    Tim: A good dream indeed! In our day??

  5. Wow, that's really interesting... how such a change could come about in such a short time. I'll keep an eye out for the film.

  6. Okay. That's it, you convinced me. I've got to see this movie now. It should hit German theaters in about six months if it's just out in the States now.

    As for dancing nations, I wish. I don't believe it's a problem of the people. I believe our leaders are corrupted. A cure?: Let the position of leader be gratis. You do it because you want to better the world, not make yourself wealthy. Think it would work?

  7. I will go see that movie for sure! And for the rest, be patient and have Hope, my dear friend. World is changing slowly. But it's changing...

  8. Lisa: One would think our top leaders are not "in it" for the money. Maybe for the power? What is it they say: Power corrupts! (sigh)

    MP: Slowly but surely. I can handle the slowly if it's also surely, I think! Just wish it would happen in my lifetime. But the Age of Aquarius will be much longer than that, I'm afraid. (sigh)

  9. A day late and a dollar short...I found your comment GCP--while I was cleaning out my junk box. Guess the computer gods didn't know you weren't junk!! Ugh. Sorry I missed you. Thanks for the comment.