I just finished reading the book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (not to be confused with another Unbroken book out there). I usually post these reviews on my FB page. A quick overview of the book and then the movie that follows sometime after that. I was on a mission this year to read every book that also had a movie being released this year. I have gotten through most of them, although there were a few that slipped through my fingers. I had friends ask me “Unbroken is on your list, right?” Yes. It was, but because the movie is not set to release until Christmas, it was almost at the end of my list. You know what they say…..last but not least.
Words really are failing me at the moment to describe this book. Life-changing. I don’t want to give many spoilers but I felt it necessary to write a little bit more in detail about this book. For those that do not know, the book is the true account of Louie Zamperini, an Olympic runner who during World War II was a lieutenant in the Army Air Forces. In May of 1943, his bomber went down in the Atlantic. After surviving weeks at sea, he is then captured by Japanese military only to become a POW in the most horrifying of conditions that I can personally imagine.
As I read the story, I kept thinking what could possibly be inherent in a man to allow the strength and courage and sure-will to survive such an ordeal. I know that I am a survivor of losing a child and several have called me “strong”, whatever that means. But let me tell you, my first few days at sea with no food, water, or shelter from the sun and with sharks circling, I’d be saying, “Take me home to see Eden, Jesus!” And that is the honest truth. So what is it? I do know that attitude and mind-over-matter do have something to do with it, but that can’t be all. At least, not entirely. I know that people must be born with that attitude or inner strength. Some have it. Others do not. Just looking at my kids…..Eve is a born pessimist. Jude an optimist. That simple. Nothing that Justin and I had anything to do with. Does that mean that Jude would have a greater chance at surviving difficult circumstances than Eve? Maybe. Who is to know what a person is capable of until put to the task?
But I do know who is capable. And if there was ever a testimony to the fact that God never leaves us or forsakes us and that He can turn every situation to good for those who love Him, it is the testimony of Louie Zamperini. At the end of the book (I’m trying my best to avoid spoilers), Louie realizes that God was along with him through the starvation, dehydration, torture, pain, humiliation, degradation……the entire time. Yes, I believe he had the will to survive, but what if that will came from the only one who could supply it? Louie was not a believer during his time as a POW, but somehow through all the attempts to break him, he was unbreakable.
What we face in life aims to destroy us. Break us to the point of no repair. Two things stand in the way of that……the choice to survive and the One who comes to the end of where our strength disappears and takes over. It is something that I have witnessed, experienced, and now have read about in a way I never thought was possible. It truly has little to do with us, but everything to do with Him….the embodiment of hope, grace, love, strength. We don’t even have to be aware of our faith to be touched and changed by the only one capable. I’ve said and have heard others say, “I could never survive that” or “I don’t know how anyone could survive that”. No, I can’t, but, yes, I know how, because I know the One who can.
READ THIS BOOK……if it is the last book you ever read. The movie opens Christmas Day. It is directed by Angelina Jolie and has tons of Oscar buzz. I’ve seen the preview, and the film looks amazing. I just hope they do the story justice.
AND for your viewing pleasure……some pictures from the Be A Firework! glow-in-the-dark 5k. A huge success because of our supporters and the One who can…..
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