Saturday, July 21, 2007

Thoughts on Blood Diamond

I just watched Blood Diamond for the first time last night. It's an intense and moving film. The senseless violence funded by diamonds is horrible. The rebel soldiers (RUF) attacked multiple villages. Why? Maybe just to capture a few slaves, maybe to inspire fear and eliminate some opposition, but I'm not totally sure. But, even the government soldiers did not hesitate to shoot civilians who got between them and the RUF in one battle.

The movie definitely hits on the issue of boys becoming men, which I discussed in a recent blog. After the rebels kidnap some boys, they quickly indoctrinate them into becoming violent child soldiers, an obvious case of boys becoming men too quickly. In this case, Solomon was helpless to save his son until he found him again. Yet, in America, teenage sex, underage drunkenness, drugs and gangs are a huge issue which needs addressing. Children grow up too soon on their own while parents often either avoid the issue or try to keep their kids as children for too long. It is not a simple issue, and I'm not a parent so I don't propose to have the answers, except that we need God.

One thing the RUF commander said was true, that youth are the future. Yet, that's just like the devil who mixes lies with truth to make everything sound true. But, youth are the future. The question is, will they serve God like David and Timothy in their youth, or will we allow the devil to capture their hearts?

How do we help Africa? Do we just send some money? Buying diamonds from conflict zones sends money to Africa, but obviously it doesn't help the situation. Legislation like banning the import and sale of blood diamonds can help, some. Giving to charities can help, and I'm thankful for all the recent awareness about Africa, but charity won't solve all their problems. We need to pray and some people need to go there. Some of the greatest revivals have taken place on the continent of Africa, yet why is it still plagued by so much conflict, corruption, starvation and HIV/AIDS? I don't know, other than that humans are far from perfect and this world needs God in a major way.

I wish I were more motivated to do something, but sometimes I feel paralyzed by all the problems in the world and in my own life. There is no way one person can solve all the world's problems (other than Jesus), but we can still pray, give and go where God leads. And sometimes it takes time. My friends at Global Support Mission, who recently went on a mission trip to Uganda, say that action starts with awareness (which this movie brings), which leads to sympathy and finally compassion (=action).

I am thankful for our God who is able to bring healing to a land, like He did for Israel several times: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV)


  1. Oh yeah, I forgot to add one more important thought (don't read if you haven't seen it yet).

    The part where Solomon reunites with his son, Dia, is so touching. Dia is holding a gun to his father, but his father approaches and basically says, "You are my son, whom I love, and you will come home and be my son again." So powerful, just like our Father who says the same thing to us, even when we had turned against Him.

  2. That reunification between father and son was very powerful. It reminds me also of the Lion King, where Simba hear's his father's voice from the sky saying, "Remember who you are." I think that in the deepest realm of our hearts we have an understanding that we are meant to be God's sons, and that understanding has been put there by God. However, this understanding gets muddled and distorted and hidden by sin and hurt and years of neglect. In a sense, coming to God is coming back to the person we have left and rejected, even unconsciously.

    Thanks very much for your thoughts on Blood Diamond. It was a powerful and challenging work. Blessings, bro.

  3. Thanks Eric, I appreciate your feedback and the illustration from Lion King ... it is indeed a powerful scene.