Okay, I cried at the movies yesterday for maybe the first time in a decade.
For two hours and fifteen minutes Captain Phillips and his crew had to battle Somali pirates who forced their way aboard the Maersk Alabama and demanded a ransom. Evil and jeopardy reigned for most of the story; moviegoers spend the entire time with blood boiling and muttering to themselves, “Get those guys!” No denouement except executions via a hail of bullets would satisfy the audience (at least in our theater), and – spoiler alert – of course, that is what happens.
But Lisa and I don’t shed tears because bad guys meet their justifiable doom. The film’s moving conclusion, instead, is when Tom Hanks is finally rescued and tenderly taken to the ship’s sick bay. He is going into shock; his life has been in constant jeopardy for days and nights on end. Finally he is safe. There are nurses to care for him. He will see his loved ones again. And this brave man’s fragile, collapsing relief is a glorious thing to experience as the music swells. The score’s closing song is entitled, appropriately, “Safe Now.”
It makes me anticipate the second coming of our Lord. The human race has endured battles. Piracy. 9/11. The Oklahoma City bombing and two world wars and the Holocaust. Floods and the 2004 tsunami which washed over the shores of my beloved Thailand. Lucifer has held our human race at gunpoint for so long. But finally it will be over. Angels will carry the wounded to God’s healing hospital. The relief in our hearts will be palpable and eternal. No more pain, no more tears, no more sorrow, no more death, because the old order of things has passed away.
And yes, it’s also true that the pirates will be forever gone.