Sunday, 16 August 2015

Films one and two.

 One year a very important event happened. I think I was about nine. Our church farm was going to be sent two films. Naturally we were all excited! We were one of the fortunate families in Zimbabwe to have a Betamax video and occasionally we would go to drive in movies. These films however were going to be for everybody. Even better than that these films were apparently going to

help save people. Now you didn't have to go a hundred metres to realise that there was a lot of saving to be done. As a country we were three years into a six years drought and our dam was drying up, the crops needed rain, people were getting extremely thin and our cows were being rationed for their dried husks.

I was so excited we were taken to our church building on town after dark and the little hall became rammed. The Pilgrims Progress began. However as Christine stumbled through his journey I didn't understand it at all and it just became more and more upsetting; he was having a horrible time and even when he was doing things that he thought would make him happy - they even end up hurting him. My stomach twisted more and more and I cried. It was a horrible film! I couldn't understand how on earth it was going to help anyone.

Maybe the next film would be more helpful. We all squeezed ourselves into the larger town hall. The projector tick into action and the Jesus film started. This is good, I thought, as I knew Jesus was in the business of helping people. But to my horror the film was not about what Jesus could do for us it was about what we had done to him. As the arrest and story of his beatings, the crown of thorns and the horrible crowd progressed to the most gory scene I had ever encountered. I froze the sounds and the clanking of the nails seemed to be going right through me as well (now 38 as I type I still feel like vomiting).

For weeks afterwards as the two films travelled around country we would sit in Sunday meetings and hear again and again of how horrible crucifixion was, of how if Jesus could cope with that then we could cope with the 'little things' that were our lives. We heard over and over again I how God had cut himself off from his son when he needed him most because we were so sinful and needed saving. Apparently Jesus was happy to do it even though he sweated blood and his friends abandoned  him. So  whatever we were going through none of us could of had it as bad as Jesus and we should be grateful because he had such a horrible time. We should behave and be able to have peace in our suffering.

We were taught the best most morraly correct thing we could ever do was lay down our lives for our friends just like Jesus had done for us. I thought this was probably just as well as so many people seemed to be dying at the moment that my dad always had a coffin on the go. I was very proud of my dad for using his precious wood for this purpose as before people were buried in chicken sacks and I imagined just like the chicken feed they made such a horrible plasticky chaffing sound as they fell together on the ground.