[photo courtesy: amazon.com]
Eat Pray Love, starring Julia Roberts, recently released in America, and will soon be aired for us UKers near the end of September. The movie is based off of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, a memoir, which remains a subject close to my heart. My attachment to Gilbert and the aftermath therein, began shortly after her book was published. Oprah featured the author on her show in an interview, portraying details of the latest, best-selling paperback. My distress arose as I learned how Gilbert spoke the heartbeat of american women and their desire for something, someone more… It was an uncanny experience, listening to the interchange between Oprah and Gilbert, while watching hoards of women soak up her words like lifeblood to their weary souls.
After the show, I quickly snatched a copy from a nearby Barnes and Noble and devoured through pages within just a few days. Tears welled up in my eyes. Her message was a loud plea of ache and hurt; pain and sorrow. Elizabeth penned the the words of a wayword child, desperately longing for something beyond this life. This empty god-shaped hole, of which she writes, depicts her fallen marriage as it suffers to fill the void. Her vocation, and a passing thought of motherhood, both do not cease to satisfy the throbbing of her life for meaning and purpose. How does she choose to relieve herself of reality’s anguish? travel, new experiences, religion, and a fresh romance.
[photo courtesy: oprah.com]
We must fall to our knees dear sisters in Christ. God created us to glorify Him. God designed us to need Him. We yearn for Him! Read this book, watch this movie- allow yourself to be immersed into compassion, pity, and sorrow for the lost souls of thousands of women around you who wholly identify with Gilbert’s authoratative words. We must have mercy for our own sex- the working mom who wants to quit life, the divorcee who just ended her marriage, the high-profile CEO ruthlessly climbing the false ladder of success, the college girl who is barely hanging on- may we not sleep til we share with them our Jesus who saves sinners of their sin! Who gives strength to the weary! Who is able to quench our thirst!
Will you join with me in the prayer for their salvation?
I had an opportunity to meet Gilbert. After shaking her hand, I provided her a handwritten letter sharing the gospel- I wanted/and still want her to know our Jesus. We need to be faithful to pray that she will come to know God through salvation. We must plead for Oprah’s salvation; of whom is extraordinarily involved in the needs of females in this culture. We need to pray for womankind- the tens, hundreds, and thousands, that will see this movie and identify with struggles described by Gilbert. Sometimes it is difficult for feminists to see selfishness in the midst of personal trials (divorce, financial crisis, loneliness), this is an area where we can love and pray that they will come to see our Jesus who selflessly paid for their sin on the cross. May we share the opportunity of rest and joy they can obtain.
Though it is important to identify where we do not accept the worldview presented in both the book and movie (see this article)- we also need to allow these resources to move us to compassion for those who adhere to these struggles without Jesus.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
1 John 5:13
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
What will you do now? Read the book, watch the movie, have compassion for sinners, get on your knees, and share the gospel. Go!
[Note: since this post was published, a friend aptly commented, "I am not sure if I will read the book or watch the movie. I don't think we need to in order to have compassion or be aware of the great void in people's hearts - the fact that so many women and hurting and searching for something is evident. I think we just have to talk to people - really LISTEN to them - and we'll see needs and have compassion and be compelled to pray for them." I personally confess that I was not as attuned to the women of our culture prior to reading the book. It is my sin for not listening as suggested. Either way (reading the book or listening to women around you)- Christians should allow this opportunity to change us towards prayer, compassion, and a heart for the gospel.]