As I write this post, I am still in Pakistan. I just finished three days of preaching the gospel and doing interviews for a documentary coming out next year. My friends Stephen and Nate who are here with me told me that, up a couple of nights ago, they were watching a pirated version the new movie King Kong on local Pakistani television. So much for copywrite laws in the developing world. But that's another subject. Mentioning the film jogged my memory to write about the beauty in this blockbuster remake of the old classic. So here goes.
The tendency is to compare King Kong to the three Jurassic Park movies. Action scenes and special effects aside, I think that King Kong is a much better movie because it contains a message that is largely absent in Jurassic park. And that is that there really is beauty in a fallen world. In the world of King Kong, although it may seem like nature is random, violent, and indifferent, there is also beauty, substance, and meaning. And it is precisely this beauty that kills the beast inside of King Kong. When King Kong is staring at the sun setting over New York City while sitting on top of the Empire state building, he experiences the profound spiritual experience of reflection and appreciation.
Of course, in the real world, an ape or a gorilla is never going to reach the epiphany that King Kong experiences. But maybe that is the point. After all, what really separates us hairless bipeds from the rest of the animal kingdom? Anatomically speaking, there really isn't much difference between us and apes, gorillas, and chimpanzees. In fact, when it comes to brute strength, they've definitely got the upper hand. It's probably not intelligence either. After all, haven't we all heard that dolphins are intelligent in many ways that humans are not? What separates us from the animal world is not our strength nor our intelligence, but our ability to reflect on the beauty in this seemingly chaotic world that we live in. It is precisely this reflection on beauty that points to the beautiful maker who created us. Regardless of the mechanism that God may or may not have used to bring us humans beings into existence, the fact that we can reflect on our actions and appreciate the beauty of nature points to the fact that ,although our anatomy may be of the dust, our essence is truly spiritual. Thank God for that. If it were not so, we'd be swinging in the trees and throwing our dung at each other like our primate cousins. But by the grace of God we are what we are. So the next time you see the sun set or a beautiful flower, take a moment to reflect on the humanity within you that can appreciate the wonders of God's grace.