Disclaimer.... This is a somewhat heavy post and does talk about some controversial things. I'm not meaning to offend anyone, but want to get my thoughts out.
Last night, I watched the movie "Taken" with Liam Neeson and it has stayed with me ever since. Now, I don't recommend this movie overall. It's pretty violent, and I don't like violent movies. Like at all. No blood, please! But if you can handle the violence, it's a pretty good story.
In summary, Liam Neeson's character is a retired CIA agent. He's not close to his daughter, though he wants to be. He was always gone when she was young. Her mom divorced him because of it, and remarried another man. One day, she wants to go to Europe with a friend. They need his permission since she's a minor. He's opposed because of the dangers. Eventually, he gives in to her going and touring museums, though he gives her rules.
Rules that we learn she had no intention of keeping. In fact, pretty much everything she told him about the trip was a lie. She wasn't planning on going to museums. She and her friend were going to follow U2 around Europe. Anyway, soon after arriving, she and her friend are kidnapped by people involved in human trafficking. She's able to get word to him right before she's taken. To make a long story short, he goes through a lot to find her. He kills and hurts a lot of people. He puts himself through a lot of physical pain and is almost killed numerous times.
One thing that really stuck with me was it reignited my desire to do something for those involved in human trafficking. It's something that goes on all over the world, and most people don't even know it. Even here in the US, there are known trafficking hot spots! This makes me sick and I can't even believe it. I want to help them. I know a missionary who rescues girls in Thailand who are trafficked and sold as sex slaves. These girls are as young as 8 years old. 8 years old! That's about a 2nd grader! An estimated 800,000 are trafficked annually. Think about it. Absorb that number. Huge.
Even more than that, what really got to me about this movie was the thought of redemption. The father went through incredible pain, enormous expense, and risked everything. Why? Love. He loved his daughter. He never hesitated. He never stopped to think about whether or not to proceed. The one he loved was in danger and needed him, and he did everything to save her. Guns held to his head - he didn't waver. Handcuffed with a knife to his throat - no fear. His only fear, his only thought was for his daughter.
This violent movie made me think of God. When there was no way for us to get to Him, when we were in danger of being away from Him forever, He came to us. He spared no expense. He didn't hesitate. Even when it cost Him everything - the King of Kings Who created the world came to His creation, was beaten and killed for us. We were worth everything to Him. Just like the father in the movie, He did it because of love - love for everyone who ever lived and everyone who ever would live.
Despite the fact that the daughter was in the situation she was in because of her own bad decisions and choices to lie to him, the father rescued her. When we make choices that put us in danger, our Heavenly Father still wants to rescue us. When she called him, He came to her instantly. God is always wanting us to call out to Him. Just like the father in the movie didn't tell her "You got yourself in this mess. Figure it out," God did not wait for us to come up with a plan to get back to Him. He came up with the ultimate plan, the ultimate sacrifice. And just like at the end of the movie when he rescued her, he didn't remind her it was all her fault or condemn her, God is not waiting to rescue us so He can condemn us. He just wants us safe with Him where we belong. He's not waiting to say "I told you so; look what you did." He's waiting to say "I love you. I'll take care of you." And that's what He did from the beginning - He loved us and took care of it.
In closing, here is a quote I love from Derek Loux. Derek was active in ending human trafficking and rescuing orphans before his death. This quote ties together my two main thoughts from the movie.
“My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him. And when He redeems us, we can’t even really appreciate or comprehend it.... Today, settle your busy heart down and rest in the benefits of redemption. Enjoy the fruits of His goodness, and stop trying to “pay Him back”. - Derek Loux