About a week ago, I read about a new movie that’s coming out called “Room.” It’s opening to critical acclaim and nominations left and right. I’ve not seen it so I can’t tell you everything that happens but from the synopsis of it and from the trailer that I watched, I can give you a general outline.
It’s about a woman who is abducted and held captive in a tiny room, a shed really, with no natural light save for a tiny sky light in the ceiling. A few years into her captivity, the man who abducted her gets her pregnant and she gives birth to a son. For five years, the two of them live in this tiny little room together, dependent on the man that abducted her for food and necessities with no hope of escape. So, this mother, in an effort to make her son’s world a great place to live, in an effort to provide him with joy and contentment and all the love she has to offer, raises him on the idea that the only thing that’s real in the entire world is the room that they live in, themselves, and Old Nick (the man that is holding them there). She convinces him that the sky that they see through their sky light is all there is outside, that the things they see on TV are not real, that all that exists, the whole world available to them is in that room.
The trailer highlights clips of them trying to thrive, trying to be joyful in their tiny little room, in their whole world until, they make their escape and all of the sudden, this little boy sees the world, the real world, for the first time. He tastes freedom and air and wind and hamburgers and French fries. You see scenes of them reunited with family and swinging on swing sets and the whole exploration of the movie is what they do, how they adjust to freedom.
Again, all I saw was the trailer and then I read a little bit about it, but this movie has already made a huge impact on me. It was poignant and deep and heart breaking and triumphant and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Maybe because it was about a mother and her child, a subject that will always get me, but whatever the reason, this movie and its emotion filled me for a few days.
I thought about this mother who was stuck in this awful prison with her son, held captive by those four walls so she chose to say that that was their whole world. Freedom was taken from them so she lived with the lie that the world was their prison, that there was nothing else. This was it.
We do that with sin sometimes don’t we? We buy in to our captivity. Maybe not in big ways but in the small ways. We accept it as fact, as the world we have, our lot in life. We say things to others or to ourselves, things like. “I’m a fearful person,” or, “I’m an addict,” or, “I’m in a broken marriage.” We say things like, “I’m just not a patient person,” or, “I just don’t work like that.” It’s almost like we’re edifying those walls around us, we’re deciding that our prison of sin is our whole world, that there’s nothing else.
We are not captives, though! We are not slaves to sin, stuck in its clutches with no hope of freedom! We are not dependent on those bad choices to feed us, to identify who we are, to survive. Sin is not our world!
Jesus came so that we could be free.
Jesus came so that we could leave whatever behavior or thought or choice or struggle holding us back behind. He came and died and rose again so that the walls of sin would not define our world, but that freedom would.
But still, we put up the walls around ourselves, we put up the limits when we don’t ask for or accept his forgiveness.
We identify with our sin-cell instead of with his grace.
I want you to know today that the world afforded to us by his forgiveness is so big and so wide and so spectacular. I want you to know that that world you might be living in defined by whatever sin you’re struggling with does not have to be your reality. I think you need to know that there’s more because of Jesus.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” Luke 4:18
He doesn’t want us locked up and held fast by sin. He wants to throw wide the doors of our mistakes and our struggles and pull us out into the sunlight, into the light of his glory and grace. Will you let Him today? Will you choose to see what freedom is like, what awaits you outside of fear or pride or anger or bad choices?
Come on out, the whole world is waiting for you.