Tonight I watched the movie Amazing Grace. If you have not seen it, I recommend you go and watch it immediately. I saw it first in theatres, and I wept at the end. Then I bought it and watched it by myself....and wept at the end. Tonight I watched it again....and wept at the end.
It is beautifully put together, mixing love, God, mission, and calling into a volatile and yet wonderful story.
For those who don't know, it is the story of William Wilberforce and his nearly solitary battle to end slavery in Great Britain. Not that he was alone in his fight. He had many who helped and encouraged him. But he knew that he had been given a gift from God, as well as a mission. And he stayed with that mission until it was completed. For nearly twenty years he had to fight. It literally nearly killed him. But in the end......slavery was finished in Great Britain. It boggles the mind.
The reason I am so passionate about this film is the greatness that is portrayed. Wilberforce fought for something that he knew was greater than mankind or kingdoms. He was quietly accused of sedition. He was thought a fanatic. He was shunned by those in power. And yet, because he knew that God had given him a torch to bear, he persevered. And in the end, he did get to see the end of slavery.
It is interesting to find out though, as I research him more, that his early work only abolished the slave trade. It was not until 1833 (just three days before Wilberforce died, according to Britannica.com) that slavery itself was outlawed. The man only saw the gratification of his dreams threes days before going to the Maker that gave him his task. I can only imagine the joy, the ecstasy, the humbling pleasure Wilberforce felt when hearing, "Well done my good and faithful servant."
The movie, and the man, make me yearn for God's direction in my own life. Would that God might find me worthy of a task of such volume. Could I do it? Could I persevere? Could I become so blind to anything else that my need for God's will to be done overcomes my fears and doubts, and I only leap on faith?
I hope so.
Anywho, there is much more I could write about the film, and the man, but I will leave you to watch it. And I encourage you to do so. Feel free to borrow my copy. I will even watch it with you.
Just don't make fun of me when I cry.