The End of the Spear

My wife and I hosted a party last night for my daughter’s sixth grade class (in our homeschool program).  My wife is leading the sixth grade book group and will be reading missionary biographies, starting with Rachel Saint.  She is the sister of Nate Saint, who together with Jim Elliot and three other missionaries were famously killed by the Waodani (also called Waorani or Auca) Indians in Ecuador in the 1950s.

Partially to kick off the book club, we showed the movie The End of the Spear, which tells that story.

Those who know the story understand that after the death of their husbands, one of the widows (Elizabeth Elliot) and Rachel Saint went to live with the very group that killed their husband and brother.  Why would they do such a thing?  “For Christ’s love compels us…

The movie is told through the lens of Steve Saint, Nate’s son.  Upon the death of Rachel Saint nearly 40 years later, Steve returns to the Waodani (he had lived with them briefly as a boy) to bury his aunt.  By this time the Waodani have come to Christ and the killer of his father confessed his act to Steve.  Steve forgave and embraced him, and came to live himself among them.  His father’s killer becomes a grandfather to his children.  At the end of the movie, he says “my father would have liked that.”

And then he says this:

“Through the years people could always identify with our loss, but they could never imagine the way in which we would experience gain.”

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  It’s a paradox, a mystery in God’s kingdom.  We so often must have tremendous loss to experience tremendous gain.  The more we give up control and surrender ourselves to him, the more blessings flow.  So often this process is painful because so often that’s the only way we surrender.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”  (Matthew 16:24-25)

Father, may be found faithful in giving up my life to you, that you might take it and make it something beautiful for your glory.  May I learn to do it quickly each time.

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  1. My Gain « From the Yoke

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