Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Surrendering to the Great Abyss (by Adam Miller)

I saw a video a month or so ago showcasing one of my favorite filmmakers, Salomon Ligthelm. In this beautifully-shot short narrative, Salomon talks about his experience as a filmmaker in the secular world, and how the talents he's been given is not for himself, but for others. The point of creating, building, making, is not for the artist, but to serve everyone else. That is something I must continually remember when shooting, editing, directing, etc. Any gifts God has given me is not for myself, but for other people. It is a surrendering of those gifts. Salomon would ask it, "Have you surrendered yourself to the Great Abyss?"

My experience in Mozambique here, so far, has been amazing. The weather is beautiful, a blissful 70-75 with a nice breeze at night. Gloria, our host, is the most hospitable and loving woman I've met here. She has fed us and given us beds to sleep on, which is no small feat for our team of 6. I experienced life in Nampula by traveling on the no-lane roads, going to the grocery store, and then today even more fully by traveling to one of the wells of a local church, Felix Nevesse, and then to the Nampula UMC. At both of these churches, we experienced such welcome and gratitude that was almost overwhelming. There was such beautiful singing and gratitude from all the people we met and saw, and it made me detest my past self for not taking more time to learn Portuguese. I wanted so badly to talk to these people, get to know them, learn who they were, what life was like for them, where they grew up, etc. Hear their story.

But that's what we're here to do. Tell stories. And the people of Mozambique have stories too. And they're asking to be told. As I begin to film these stories and the life change these people have experienced from the love of Jesus through even tangible things like fresh water, it becomes easy to think, "Wow. This is a really good shot. I'm making this look really good. People will connect with this so much." It is a continual self-surrender of myself, my talents, my thoughts, my fears, my desires, to what God has in mind for me and for those around me. And I don't do that well, by any means. But even in that moment of standing in a small church, in which 100+ people gather to worship the Creator of the Universe, singing their praise for our Savior, it is difficult not to be humbled. They were offering all they knew of themselves, to all they knew of God. And that is what God asks of us. Is to surrender ourselves.

Have you surrendered yourself to the Great Abyss?

- Adam


1 comment:

  1. Nicely written, Adam!!! Had no idea you were a writer...the talent just keeps surfacing;)