Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Book Thief

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  John 10:10 (NRSV)
The Book Thief[1] is an incredible story of epic/tragic/indomitable proportions.  Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, the author traces the losses of war through the wartime experiences of a preteen girl. 
What’s so compelling (and, particularly so in the case of the movie) is the narrator is “death”.  Death shares its commentary on how busy he was during that time “collecting all those souls” (for the purpose of moving them to the hereafter). 
In being present for the events of receiving the souls of men, women and children, Death’s descriptions of what it felt like, and just how they fell or rolled into his hands, characterize the way people lived their lives; Death was announcing the real obituaries or life stories of his victims.
(Disclaimer – If you have not read the book or seen the movie you may want to stop here…I’m about to give away part of the ending.)
Liesel, the central character, around whom this story unfolds, loses almost everyone to war’s destruction – her mother, best friend and step-parents.  
At the end there is a “fast-forward” from 1945 to current day when “Death” is summing-up Liesel’s obituary.  The one who had lived in so much loss went on to live a useful, joyful, most meaningful life.  And, with something of a sigh, Death’s final evaluation is, “There is one real truth I know; I am haunted by humans.”
And there you have it; death cannot figure out life. 
It cannot comprehend or conquer life any more than darkness can exist in the presence of light.
The human spirit, a gift of God, fashioned in the image of God, is designed for life, truth, light and resilience; these are the strength of God.  Death is none of that and cannot speak for eternity.
So here is one truth I know; I am not haunted by death, for I am possessed by life; and that, more abundantly.
For You, Today
Go live without fear; live in the way of He who is the truth and life. 
He will hold you for eternity!

[1] A novel by Markus Zusak, (Picador, Australia; Knopf, US, 2005)

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