The Searchers - Ending Scene from Rob Angiello on Vimeo.
The ending scene of the movie "The Searchers" starring John Wayne.
Here below are some reflections on the coming of the Deliverer.
By Gavin Finley MD
The Deliverer Is Coming!
All the inspiring stories, the epic poems, the great novels, and those unforgettable scenes in plays and movies follow repeating themes and patterns. They are parts of a mosaic that make up a greater all-encompassing story. The classic way points of life are all pictured for us in the scenes and narratives taken from the battlefields, the romances, the migrations, and the resting places of a peculiar people who are embarked on a great journey. The stories also tell of places in the heart and those turning points that always come. Of course the holy themes are woven in with the profane. But with some discernment we can make out the narrow path leading upwards to life eternal. And we see the broad way leading downwards to tragedy and perdition.
The stories also tell of a certain someone sent out in search of the lost. He is on a quest to save someone in distress. Often the main character doesn't see the need to be saved at that time. There is a wider story here. In a sea of forgetfulness the people of interest have become amnesic. They have departed from the former or ancient paths. They think that they are just fine right there where they are at present. And they believe that they are safe within their borders of their present home and resting place. But even in their present time of apparent peace they are not safe at all. As they couch in their world of comfort a stream of messages is being fed down to them from the tree of knowledge. They hear some truths but subtly interwoven in with good information are the same old deadly lies that were told in the Garden of Delights, everything from “I’m OK, your OK” to “you can be your own god”.
We find ourselves being drawn into the story now. We say, “We’re just fine here, thank you”. Everything is going to work itself out”. We hear the "coo-ee" echoing from afar as a mourning dove calling to a lost mate. Yes, we know that there are people out there who are lost. The ill winds blow across the land. Slowly we begin to realize that we are out there in a howling wilderness and a thick darkness is threatening to close in around us. It is a strange moment. We pause in our steps to listen. Someone is calling, - calling to us.
The stories, (like the one in this video for example), often tell of a dark time when a person’s home and their very life comes into a season of deadly peril. And like the lost person in this western we too are loathe to change our direction and return home. We find it hard to leave the place, the people, and the milieu in which we have become comfortable. We follow the princes and rulers of this world. But do our over shepherds really care for us? The goats among us say “Do we really need a shepherd? I am my own man!” Or we choose the core values that we fancy, trusting them to be our guide.
We are indeed like sheep. We are inclined to think and do what everyone else around us is thinking and doing. We believe that the land within our borders will forever offer us peace and safety. But as strange and different events begin to happen we begin to question all that. Some of us realize we do need a Shepherd. But where is he in our time of need?
Every crisis brings its danger. But there is a silver lining here. With every crisis also comes an opportunity. We have arrived at a turning point. The turning pressures can be severe. And there in that wrenching valley of decision many of us stay in denial. Others of us get angry and act out in destructive ways. And then many of us come to a new resolve. We finally begin to see that we are the prodigal son. And we are returning home to our Father’s house, come what may.
The new way brings great joy. But as the classic story unfolds the main characters in the story will come to some sort of climactic showdown. Now they are facing their ultimate great trial and a day of reckoning that will determine who lives and who dies. The tribulations will come in this world, as they must. But the romance and the adventure are there as well. The two are wrapped up together. They are one and the same.
The bad guys close in for their final assault. It seems that all is lost. But from the overarching storyline we just know that a deliverer will surely come. He is the blessed hope. And written into the epic saga the people of the covenant will either be scattered and suffer a great tragedy or experience a final glorious deliverance.
Here in this closing scene from “The Searchers” we see a glimpse of the ultimate Deliverer. He lives in the hearts in the wider family of Abraham. He is the Breaker, the one who makes a Way. As in this movie we see Him framed as the Door to the sheepfold.
Salvation themes can be found throughout the scriptures and the literature of the Western people. Throughout the dark and stormy night someone goes out there looking for the one that had been lost. We see the Good Shepherd as he carries the lost sheep on his shoulders through the storm and back to the safety of the fold. When we see the lost sheep lifted up and carried we remember Abraham back in the former time on that special occasion when he cut the everlasting unconditional covenant with God. As he prepared the sacrifice the crows and vultures gathered. And as the sun went down a deep darkness engulfed him. Exhausted with the burden of his people Abraham fell into a deep sleep. So way back at the beginning we see that the father of our faith also came to the point where his strength was gone. He too was also lifted up and carried by someone who walked through the pieces of the covenant for him. Back then, as now, we see only one set of footprints in the sand. And there is only one set of footprints through the blood of the covenant. One person is carrying the other.
The grand story of people lost and then found echoes across the ages. Someone belonging to a special family is lost. They have been deceived, seduced, hoodwinked, led down the wrong path and drawn into brutish company with lovers who were blood sucking vampires. There, like Gomer, they came to the end of themselves. They had been compromised, bankrupt, enslaved, and then eventually overwhelmed by events. But as the story unfolds we see that another someone is going out to find them and bring them home. There is a paradise lost and a paradise found. We see the people of the covenant saved and delivered from their captivity. Then as the story ends they are carried across a threshold to experience a glorious homecoming. A great restoration awaits them there, the details of which they had not been told. The called out people are to be reunited with all their family, a family they had almost completely forgotten.
These marvelous themes of salvation and deliverance are legion. They are woven all throughout the literature of the West both the holy and profane. The great former story of deliverance is actually non-fiction. It is a fact of history. It is the story of the Exodus and the Red Sea crossing. We can even go to Google Earth and see that large white flat area jutting out into the sea where the children of Israel complained to Moses, “Have you brought us here to die?!” They were hemmed in with their backs to the sea. The chariots of Pharaoh were racing towards them down that deep valley coming in from the west. We can see the place quite clearly, even in 3-D. It is on the western side of the Gulf of Aquaba. You will see a huge white expanse of beach about a third of the way down that coast from the city of Aquaba. King Solomon left a monument there. There are a number of YouTube videos on the place of “the Red Sea Crossing” and “The Real Mount Sinai”.
Back then the people of faith were carried across the deep as on wings of eagles. But as we read deeper into the Book of books the plot thickens. We are told that a far greater exodus and homecoming is still up ahead and that it will actually eclipse the former one. Someone is in the process of saving a called out people. And in a future time of great danger he has a fixed agenda to gather them in a place of safety away from the face of the dragon. John tells the story in Revelation 12. So all these inspiring legends of deliverance point to a sure and certain climactic future event. It seems that this magnificent saga with all its mysteries only becomes fully known when the story comes to its grand conclusion.
Holy history is teleological, not just cyclical. There must be a climax to the history of this age. There is no eternal status for the ying and yang of eastern mysticism that is creeping into our culture and trying to rearrange our thinking. The cycles of life, birth and death, sex and violence, war and peace may be rising and falling like the Ganges River. But they are not eternal. Nor are the ying and the yang, the good and the evil in some sort of happy balance forever. This is the false doctrine of the dragon. There must be a showdown between good and evil.
Life and history on this planet does not go on forever with no meaning, no conclusion, and no accounting. The Western culture with its Judeo-Christian faith is telling the truth here. There will be a day of reckoning. Under the religion of the east, often aided by hashish, lost people are told to just empty their minds to let in “whatever”. When that doesn’t work they are taught to kill their soul with its inner agony by smiling and contemplating their navel. When the evil spirits have taken hold and they reach nirvana there is no more pain. They are “comfortably numb”, no longer caring about anything or anyone. For those who are left and still imagine that they could be somebody after all the dragon message to them this time is to open their arms at the seashore and say “I am God!” The dragon is not just telling lies but telling “The Lie”. His regime upon this earth is slated for judgment. Naturally he doesn't want that story told. But nevertheless it is true. At some predefined point the story of this present evil age will come to an end. The people of the prince of darkness may not like it. But a Deliverer will come from Zion. A remnant shall return. And a new Millennium will dawn.
At a future time we shall awaken to the full truth of all this. It will be serendipity, even a moment of deja vu. Suddenly Sleeping Beauty will awaken. The people in the faith of Abraham will realize that they themselves are called out, but not just as an ekklesia sitting in a pew. When the trials come, as they will, they will be called upon to be his witnesses. As such they will go up on the stage of history and become central characters in the play. Our life and witness is being written into this big all-encompassing story. And like the classic opera or the fireworks festival we know from the truth we see in the arts just how it all ends. The story will end in spectacular fashion, in a magnificent crescendo.
So there is indeed deliverance at the end. And there is a song in the night. The rejoicing starts with a song of deliverance, the one Miriam sang when she took up the timbrel and danced back at the time of the Exodus. But then it goes on from there. We find joy in a relationship with a Person. Right from the beginning He just asked us to walk with Him day by day. He has paid the price of our redemption with His own blood. He is our Friend in a covenant of lovingkindness that goes on for all eternity. There is nothing difficult here. A strange and wonderful divine romance just grows inside us as we walk with Him along the way. He is also the Prince of Righteousness and Peace. And as we shall discover, this epic saga climaxing with a glorious deliverance is not just something written for others or just about others. It is OUR story.