por Christina Nunes

Year 11 - N° 518 - May 28, 2017

The Schack Love Message

“I do not want slaves, but friends. A family...” Jesus, in The Schack

Everything happens in synchronicity with what Humanity needs, although the current world scenarios suggest a total chaos. Or God would not be God.

This is one of the many powerful messages from the movie The Schack - rightly, a box office record. However, ten years ago, I did not stop to read the original book.

However, everything obeys a correct time and opportunity for each of us. After all, in the electrical tumult of these current days that drags us along, who has not yet questioned God? Yes, in those moments of deep dismay and weariness that each one, for different reasons, experiences from time to time? - In the difficult episodes of disappointment, discouragement, physical or moral suffering greater or lesser, or simply out of fatigue?

In the The Schack, we find ourselves countless times before the divine presence. We inevitably remember our silent, unknown conversations of joy or rebellion with God along our paths. But of our intentions and pains of conscience, no doubt, only we and the Creator know.

How often, watching the daily frightening news on TV, do we not inquire of God – submerged in frustration or revolt, in thought or in a loud voice, about why He allows so much despair, cruelty, uncons-ciousness, malice, and violence?

We know from the knowledge transmitted by the Spirits that everything resumes to cause and consequence. The choices of a better or worse implication, from the remote or recent past, sooner or later bring to all the results of what was signaled in this millennial path.

However, on countless more serious occasions when our minds get confused, apparently without all the answers we wanted from the logical point of view, we need to blame someone, or something. 

The lesson of forgiveness is always difficult – sometimes even for ourselves, in a sort of paralyzing pain of conscience. And in this process, we anticipate ourselves in self-condemnation. Or still to another person, to whom we attribute the responsibility for our unhappiness, or for some intolerable, material or spiritual loss. And, finally, when everything becomes much darker and confused, we blame God!

But what if, as the film shows us, in some "shaft" of our greatest sufferings, we were able to meet God in person, to help and heal us?

I say "in person," in a situation in which He would be present in any suitable way for us to access Him better, from within our limited understanding of everything. And why not be in the presence of Jesus too, for greater happiness? And, to be added, with a feminine presence - in the film named Sarayu - embodying the Holy Spirit, helping us to understand the sense so debated and polemicized throughout the centuries of this Holy Trinity?

The Shaft, however, goes further than these visible aspects. The main purpose goes far beyond the figures presented as beautiful allegories for children still immature; the essence of the message reaches that critical point, in which all of us, without exception, recognize ourselves in many moments of our lives.

How can we understand God's Love for mankind from within the amazing, truly daunting scenarios of today? More, and better - how to forgive?

In the routines of our Spiritist studies we were already aware that the lesson of forgiveness had always been the most difficult of all. First, because we cannot see in our neighbor, to whom we impute all guilt, no reason for benevolence on our part; benefits to those who have caused so much damage to us, to those we love, or to many others - conveniently forgetting our own mistakes and limitations. 

God is not the cause of the cruelties of the world - The other and main reason, perhaps, is lack of faith, of trust. The lack of certainty in the process that God is indeed good, perfect, and that He loves all in this authentic confusion, apparently with no meaning, in which collectivities are now plunged with no apparent outlet or immediate chance of liberation.

But in The Shaft, throughout the film, God - a nice, kind, good-natured black woman, sweet and very patient, in her kitchen baking bread or sitting in the sun on the porch - explains, with all love and tolerance, to the protagonist depressed, and rebellious, against everything, since a tragedy of unbearable family order had struck the passion for life, taking with it and forever the capacity to understand and smile.

God is not the cause of the ruthless cruelty that relentlessly falls on humans. Of these tragedies, however, as happens to the lotus sprouting from the muddy pool, He produces the wonders of human transformation and redemption.

God assures to all the freedom of choice, so that, from it, one learns and evolves. Even through the worst choices - those that produce terrible misery to individuals in the context of the world.

But when Mack, the protagonist, asks Him why does He allow an innocent child to suffer an atrocity at the hands of a pervert monster, without just punishment for that sinner, God assures him, calm, and understanding:

"Mack, the sin is already the sinner's own punishment!"

Several issues of crucial significance to our routines of reincarnated in continuous learning are being presented, delightfully throughout the film of magnificent scenarios and screenplay! Inevitably, we identify ourselves in several moments within the lessons that are being shown, in the loving dialogues between God, Jesus and Sarayu, with Mack, the main character of the drama.

Then the question of forgiveness is set, and this he must at some point face, in order to free himself from the enormous burden of despair and anguish that consume him, undermining his mental, emotional and spiritual health to the point of compromising the quality of his family life, previously peaceful, with his wife and both children. 

We have the habit of judging everyone and everything - How to forgive the "monster" who, through cruel torture, removed from his life, his little daughter, an innocent angel, destroying all his reason to live? And how can one forgive an evil father who, in the past, had tyrannized him and his mother during childhood, taking from him even the right to enjoy this tender period of human existence in a happy and healthy way?

He is taught - and so are we, already immersed in tears of healing and exaltation in the seats of the crowded cinema - in a clear way, the whole meaning of the very difficult lesson on judgment.

We all judge everything, with unquestionable efficiency (from our restricted perspective), explains to him a wise personage, at a certain moment of the story. We judge everybody by how they dress, walk, by how they hold their bodies, by the way they speak, by their social status, or if they have a lot or little money; by their appearance, the co-lor of the skin, the choices of life... And, even more serious, we condemn, based on these partial perspectives.

Most of the time, by the force of the habit, we condemn, relentlessly. From the family environment to the countless characters on the daily news, we condemn or absolve without stopping, according to our multifaceted opinions.

In the film, in order for Mack at last to have clarified his most anguished doubt about divine judgment and condemnation, it is proposed to him - and to us, in the projection rooms, taking us at that moment to that reality, told so magnificently – a decisive opportunity!

First, it is suggested that he thinks about whether to definitively condemn his father - about whom scenes of a child tortured by another man, his grandfather, appear to him, terrifying him as he later did with his son, and there he is now mute. Then allusions are made to the wicked man who had stolen the life of his beloved daughter - but who, in the past, had also been tyrannized by an indefinite person, who had helped to deform his character in that appalling way. 

The father wanted both in the so called Heaven - And finally, he sees the image of his children – a couple of teenagers. The older, then handicapped by emotional and psychological problems due to the same drama recently experienced in the family; and the attentive and frightened little boy, who looks at him questioningly. Both are standing there, out of nowhere, - so that he himself would decide: with all the imperfections, still small, to be corrected and improved in both, and which Mack knew very well...

Judging them as father, which one would he choose, absolving him, to follow him to Heaven, and which would he condemn in definite, to go forever to Hell?
In the scenes that follow, astonished, the father faces those two beloved faces of his, in spite of all the knowledge that he had of their eventual individual failures.

And he gives up judging! In tears, he begs for that episode to end, because he would not, in the final analysis, judge either of them. He wanted both with him in the so-called Heaven. And if he had to go toHell, let he himself go!

At this touching moment of the movie, dear friend and reader, like so many others present at that time in the cinema, who were most probably recalling personal memo-ries, I remembered in tears, and very moved, a difficult situation of my recent past - in which, in front of my youngest daughter lying sick on a bed of a certain clinic in Rio de Janeiro, diagnosed with a very serious illness, I literally spent every minute of one dawn, sobbing uninterruptedly, talking to God. I begged Him for His grace and that all that was just a nightmare. I asked Him to pass on to me the disease that had taken over her little young body, and that He may give her the chance to continue her path of life to a fruitful existence in favor of her happiness and improvement. 

That night seemed endless - I begged the same thing over and over, without stopping through early morning, in front of the bed where she was snoring, experiencing a feeling that surpassed much of any revolt or need to blame God or this or that! All I asked was for the disease to leave her and come to me. For, since I was over fifties, she would have much more time to learn and enjoy, remaining in the corporeal life than myself. Or, if possible, that everything was a medical mistake. A horrible mistake!

The day came, and with it the Chief Physician, as well as the caring nurse who had looked after us throughout the night - one of those timely angels who are placed beside us in these moments of despair, so that, despite everything we pass, we do not lose completely the trust in God. For me, indeed, that night resembled, at the same time, an eternity and a single minute.

The physician examined my little girl. After exchanging ideas with the other doctors that were present, she informed me that she would refer my child to a specialist in the south suburb of Rio, because, to her knowledge, some misdiagnosis had been given by the physician on call, the night before. Calming us down, she assured us it was a mistake, but she wanted confirmation from this specialized clinic.

My little girl had then awakened full of life, and also annoyed. It was Saturday. She did not believe she would still have to undergo further tests. She complained that she wanted to go to the mall.

I was thrilled, but still unable to believe, so we followed the physician’s instructions. And on that blessed day I obtained the Divine Grace to see the error of a diagnosis confirmed! For a family celebration with no words to describe, all was well!

I told you this story to illustrate the kind of Divine Love that is mentioned by God in The Shaft, and that many of us experience, at some point: Mack's love, by not wanting to judge any of his children, and offering himself instead to be sacrificed. The love of Jesus for all mankind, offering his personal sacrifice by not condemning or judging, when he exclaimed the "Father, forgive, for they know not what they do!" 

Jesus does not want us as slaves - God's Love, finally, in assuring us freedom of choice throughout our eternal journey, so that we may be redeemed because we learn from our own lessons, and not for fear of punishment. Because God judged or condemned us, and, partial or vengeful, if He could not be able to resort to another method to redeem beings other than the eternal damnation or definitive idleness in any kind of a Heaven conquered not by its own merit but by an authoritarian verdict in a third person. A distant, partial, unattai-nable and incomprehensible God, more like earthly hierarchical models, in which the base of the pyramid never sees or understands who or what, is at the top.

In The Shaft, when Mack questions God's reason for allowing the unspeakable scourge of Jesus, the beautiful black, embodied as God, is touched. She lets him expose his doubt and his revolt and answers:

- You did not understand...

And she shows, on her own clenched fist, the scar left by the martyrdom of the wood of the cross once lived by Jesus.

God was with the Master and is with us, in every single second of our journeys.

 He loves us just as we are right now; He does not condemn, and sees us as what we are - light and colors - in an everlasting evolution! Since forever and forevermore!
And, finally, Jesus does not want us as slaves. He wants us as His friends. As the best divine representation possible in a human being to this day, he also remains with us, wherever we are at a given moment.

That is why the Message of Love of the Gospels belongs to all beings, of all ages, in whatever places or paths we choose to follow.

This is why The Shaft's Message of Love is more than timely for all of us - here, now - especially in the time we live, and also afterwards... 

Eleni Frangatos - eleni.moreira@uol.com.br




O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita