I got an urge to watch The Last Samurai on DVD yesterday, so went and rented the two disc special edition. I’m a huge fan of any “extras” on a DVD and am a commentary junkie. Watching the movie with the commentary by director Edward Zwick gave me the nudge to write this post.
How did the commentary do that? Because Zwick was talking, in several parts of the movie, how the action scenes made him nervous while filming them. There are stunt men, horses, extras, the “stars” of the movie, all running and “fighting” and screaming, and Zwick makes a few comments that just struck me as “wrong,” or odd.
Here all these people are doing the scene, and Zwick makes comments (in paraphrase) like, “When you have your stars out there like this it is really nerve-wracking,” or “what a risk it is having our big name actors out there, think if one would get hurt!” I don’t think he consciously new what he was implying, but it was clear to me what had to be going on in the back of his mind.
The question becomes this; “So, it is worse if a “big name” actor gets hurt or killed than if a mere extra takes a hit, earns a scar, or gets trampled, that would be much less of a blow?” Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not surprised by this attitude, nor am I judging Zwick for what he said, or unconsciously implied…but I do think it is something that humans have got to watch out for; placing a greater “worth” on other humans for no other reason than they are famous, or rich, or good looking, or their loss would hurt our bottom line, etc…
I praise God that human worth isn’t based upon the worth that we humans place upon each other. As another example; Bernie Mac died recently and it was all over the news, which is indeed a sad thing…but, it is important to remember that people die from pneumonia every day, hard working people, funny people, mean people, old people, young people, yet we never see their faces all over national news…no wonder some humans let fame become their “god.”
No, God sets our worth, and humans are indeed “worth” a lot to God; He created us in His image, He has dealt with and guided mankind from the beginning, He Himself “struck up a tent in human flesh,” became one of us, dwelt amongst us…lived a perfect life on our behalf, died for us, and rose for us. All so that we could be with Him.
Most humans recognize the differences between mere animals and human beings. Even most non-believers admit that there is a difference; for example, if they had to choose between saving a dog and a human child, they would save the human child. The only logical explanation for this, the only meaningful explanation, stems from the fact that there is indeed a God, and He values us; each of us.
God is no respecter of persons; He doesn’t care if you are filthy rich, or dirt poor. He doesn’t care if you didn’t graduate high school, or if you have several Ph.D.’s, whether you are tall or short, good at sports, or bad at spelling, whether you are a great actor, or never even starred in a high school play… He’s all about relationship, and yes that includes acknowledging His position as God, King, Lord, Saviour, etc… but it is about more than that. He is with each of us, and give each of us the chance to be close to Him through His Son, to better ourselves through His Son, and His Spirit. Our worth stems from His worth of us, and His creation of us, and His willingness to have a true relationship with us!
John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
As with Morality, which logically only gets its meaning from God, human worth works the same way. And, don’t ever think that you are not worth something to God; He numbers the very hairs on our heads. Think about that. He, the Creator of all things, is with us, and cares for us!
Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.