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I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this week, on a lot of different things. Last night I was thinking about a movie written by Mel Gibson and directed by Shyamalan in 2002. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s called SIGNS. The movie stars Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. For those of you that haven’t seen the movie, this is a SPOILER ALERT. If you don’t care, please ignore this SPOILER ALERT and keep reading.
Mel Gibson plays the part of a priest that has lost faith in God after the death of his wife. Joaquin Phoenix plays Gibson’s brother, a baseball hopeful with shattered dreams. Gibson has two kids by his deceased wife. The son has asthma and the daughter has a strange habit of only partially finishing glasses of water, only to leave them lying around the house.
The movie gets to be very interesting because the family lives on a farm. Suddenly a crop circle appears on the farm, which is a precursor to an alien invasion. Just before the invasion begins, Gibson’s faith is tested when he has to decide whether to leave his house or stay. Before the decision is made, Gibson visits that man that killed his wife after dozing off and hitting her with a truck. The two have a very brief conversation in which it is revealed that the aliens won’t go near water. The guy has also managed to trap an alien in his pantry, and of course Gibson has to check it out. I’m not going to ruin this part of the movie for you in case you want to check it out.
Let’s skip to near the end of the movie. Someone catches one of these aliens on film during a kid’s party in Mexico. The brother, son, and daughter have become obsessed with the news reports. They vote on whether or not to stay, and decide to stay.
The morning after the invasion, the alien that Gibson encountered in the guy’s pantry is in the house and grab’s Gibson’s son, who has just had an asthma attack. This is where I believe the genius of Gibson and Shyamalan comes into play.
As the alien is holding the son, a tube comes out of his wrist and sprays a poisonous liquid into the boys nose. Gibson has a flash back to his wife’s last words (I won’t spoil all of it). One thing she told him was to tell his brother to “just swing”. The aliens are vulnerable to water, so the brother grabs his trophy bat off the wall and starts swinging at those glasses of water that the daughter just so happens to leave lying around the house. After the brother kills the alien, Gibson realizes that his son was born with asthma so that when the alien sprayed the chemical in his nose his lungs would be closed from the attack.
In the end, you realize that the story has nothing to do with aliens, which is perhaps why nobody made a huge deal about the movie after it came out. The aliens turn out to be DEMONS. The entire move turns out to be a story about whether God is really in control or not.
Mel Gibson is the first person I can recall that used a major motion picture to present aliens as demons. He also used the movie to show that even something like his wife’s death and his son’s asthma were used by God to actually save his son’s life.
No matter how out of control things may seem sometime, we as Christians need to remember that God is always in control. I’m going to close out this blog with the following verse.
- “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10