Miserable or Joyful?

I particularly enjoy watching movies that are based on true stories. We’ve watched several over the past year, and they have all been very good. I like non-fiction movies because I like to understand things about life and I am a visual learner, so movies help me “see” some of what might have happened in the past. Unfortunately, many of these movies are about horrible, horrible things that people have done to other people.

Another thing I like about movie watching is how some movie lines or quotes just jump out at me. This happened recently while watching the movie Amistad. Definitely in the category of horrible things people have done — and who am I kidding, still do. It’s a movie about illegal slave trading and a particular group of people taken from Africa on a ship named “Amistad.”

Various things happen and the people end up in the United States and a trial takes place to figure out what is to happen to the people. In the mean time, they are held in prison. At one point, two of the main characters are looking out a window at an approaching group of Christians who are against slavery. Here’s the conversation between Fala and Joseph:

Fala:  Who are they, do you think?

[The Christians/abolitionists kneel to pray]

Joseph Cinque: Looks like they are going to be sick.

Abolitionists: [singing] Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…

Fala: They’re entertainers!

Abolitionists: [singing] … that saved a wretch like me…

Joseph Cinque: But why do they look so miserable?

It made me wonder how often, in my attempts to “appear” Christian or do some noble thing, I have actually appeared miserable to those watching? I’ve been drawn recently to songs about joy and really living and writings about freedom and adventure. Here’s to not appearing miserable and living a life with joy and fullness, richness and adventure!


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