“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
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
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
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
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
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
God assures him, calm, and understanding:
"Mack, the sin is
already the sinner's
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
of Love is more than timely for all of us - here, now -
especially in the time we live, and also afterwards...