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I just finished listening to Unbroken, written by Laura Hillenbrand, about the incredible life story of Louis Zamperini. This was my first time listening to/reading the book. I saw the movie when it came out, I thought it was well done, but for years I consistently heard that the movie was nothing compared to the book. I also heard from many people that the movie left out the entire point of Louie’s life journey.
It was a difficult book to listen to. The atrocities that Pacific POWs endured during WWII is heart-breaking and gut-wrenching. I am sure the book only contained a mustard seed of what really happened. It took me 15 hours to listen to what happened to men every day for year after year.
I didn’t realize how special of a runner Louie was. He was a once in a generational runner. His undoubted epic and long running career was destroyed by war and violence.
The movie conveyed the message that Louie was an incredibly strong human with unbelievable willpower. After watching, I felt as though I could accomplish anything and endure any amount of pain and suffering. I was an inspired human.
As the end of the book neared, I began to realize why many people had told me the movie missed the point. Louie’s strength, street-smarts, ingenuity and will to stay alive were and are awe-inspiring. However, despite his elite, almost supernatural human abilities, in the years after the war he was broken. He was a mess and doomed to a life of incredible pain, suffering and loss.
It all changed when he gave his life to Jesus Christ. (There are many more details to this story. If you haven’t experienced it, you should do so right now.) So, what is my takeaway? And what do I believe Louie would want all of us to know? Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, is the one who enabled Louie to be unbroken. Christ is the way for all of us. After experiencing the book, I am beyond inspired. I am humbled. My heart is open to Christ. I want to follow Him even more.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I am striving to follow Him. But have I truly and fully given my life to Him? What does completely giving your life to Christ look like on a daily basis? I will let my heart and mind ponder on this.
Thank you for reading.