Drop what you’re doing and watch this film.
I was really reluctant to watch Hacksaw Ridge. I thought “another war movie, great.” I am a huge supporter of our military and I am thankful every single day for the sacrifices made by our men and women in the armed services, along with their families. Movies like this are just so hard for me to watch. I cry, I get angry, and I feel so completely unworthy of these heroes. After the insistence of my husband, we sat down and watched it at home over dinner.
It changed my life.
War movies typically do on some level, but this one in particular is so intense spiritually. It took me deeper on more levels and made me incredibly uncomfortable. The film follows the life of Desmond Doss, who served as a medic in the army during World War II. He was also a pacifist. He believed in the commandment “Thou shall not murder” so much that he wouldn’t even touch a gun.
Here is the first challenge.
He suffered immense ridicule for this belief. He volunteered for the army, wanting to be a medic. Desmond was bullied and pushed to his limit for his beliefs in the hopes that he would through in the towel. He didn’t. Even when he was court-martialed, he did not back down. He was eventually protected by an act of congress just before he would have been thrown in jail for his beliefs.
Would you do that? Do you believe in God so much that you are willing to go through such injustice for those beliefs. This is powerful stuff. We all have our own convictions in our spiritual walks. How strong are yours? When your entire life is about to be turned upside down, will you still stand by them?
I believe God rewards us if we do.
Then, on the battle field, Desmond and his fellow soldiers saw absolute hell fighting the Japanese on Hacksaw Ridge during the Battle of Okinawa. After his squadron retreated, Desmond asked God where he was to go. God called him to stay on the ridge and look for survivors from the recent battle. Keep in mind, he is unarmed and everyone else who was still mobile had fled back down the ridge.
Not only did Desmond go back onto the battle field and tend to those who were wounded, risking being killed by the Japanese, he carried them back to the ridge and lowered them down to safety. He saved the lives of 75 people.
New challenge for you…
Knowing how many people he saved almost makes it easier to think you would do the same thing. But let’s think about that moment when he asked God where He wanted him to be. His squadron is gone, some fleeing back to camp, the others lying helpless in a battlefield. If God was asking you to abstain from safety and head straight into danger, into a place where you could lose your life, into a place you are absolutely terrified of… would you go? Is your faith so strong that you would walk into hell, unarmed, and carry out His will?
I don’t know that I could answer that honestly.
Desmond received the Medal of Honor and he never fired a single shot in war. He was completely doubted and neglected by everyone in his squadron, but he pressed on toward his calling. He risked his life to save 75 men (some Japanese) putting some of those same men ahead of himself. He was faithful to God above all else. Above safety. Above comfort. Above life.