Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
George Clooney helped save my life. It was mainly Jesus, but Clooney gets a nod.
Many years ago, before I knew Jesus, I knew VideoCity. I used to pick up movies a couple of times a week and spend a few hours on my days off immersed in Hollywood fantasy.
Around the same time, I was wrestling with questions of fact. My wife had recently been baptized and was growing in her knowledge and faith in Christ. I was skeptical, to say the least. I kept looking for rational, or even philosophical reasons to believe in something I couldn’t see with my own eyes.
Then one day I rented From Dusk Till Dawn.
(Let me pause to offer a disclaimer: From Dusk Till Dawn is an awful movie. Nobody should ever watch it. Seriously. It’s a Quentin Tarantino vampire movie. Do you get where this is going? Let’s continue.)
The plot of the movie doesn’t matter, but for the sake of context I’ll sum it up. George Clooney ends up in a roadside bar on the Mexican side of the border, fighting off vampires alongside a former preacher who’s lost his faith.
The preacher is cowering and just trying to survive the battle. During a lull, Clooney’s character pulls him aside and gets in his face.
“What I know is that whatever is out there trying to get in is a demon straight from the pit of Hell, and if there’s a Hell, then there has to be a Heaven. There has to be.”
I didn’t think much about this scene at the time. It kind of dissipated into the gore of the movie’s third act. I watched it, and later returned it, and went on with my life.
But when God wants to tell you something, He keeps at it until you’re willing to listen. You can ignore Him, run from Him, try to push Him aside, and pretend you didn’t hear Him, but He persists. He will seek you out over a thousand hills to bring you where you were meant be: home.
I can’t tell you how long after I watched the movie that the revelation occurred, but I remember vividly sitting in church beside my faithful wife listening to a pastor, pastoring about something and my mind began to wander. I remember looking up into the rafters of the converted gym that served as the church sanctuary. I looked at the white painted beams and pipes and imagined a vampire sitting up there, but only briefly. Because the second I formed the image, I heard the words of George Clooney in my mind. “What I know is that whatever is out there trying to get in is a demon straight from the pit of Hell, and if there’s a Hell, then there has to be a Heaven. There has to be.”
It hit me like a thunderbolt and I started to pay a little more attention. Later, I started to read. I was a criminal justice major and a history minor in college. I studied evil every day. What is evil? What is good? How can we understand a concept of “evil” without a contrast by which to judge it? What is God? Who is God? Which concept of God holds up to observed data? The questions came fast and furious and I had to deal with them. I wanted to deal with them. I was eager to learn. God was giving me a thirst to know more about Him.
Darn George Clooney.
In the years that followed I began to learn the truths of scripture, hear testimonials from others similar to mine, and discover the reality that God uses strange, unorthodox, and sometimes fantastic ways to get through to us. He will meet us where we are and take us where we may not want to go. But He won’t force us. He’ll just continue to call out to us, speaking kindly but firmly wherever we are, because we can’t outrun Him, and we can’t ignore Him — even when watching a Tarantino vampire movie.