One of my favorite films of all time is the 1959 version of “Ben Hur.” Through the superb performance of Charlton Heston, one of the finest in screen history, the picture becomes about extreme levels of cruelty and how they affect the human person, the injustice of loss, and the resulting deep woundedness that can either eat the victim alive or renew their Trust in the Lord. Yet, ever since I was a boy, even though I did not comprehend the inner turmoil already going on inside of me, I could essentially relate to Ben-Hur, even if on a very basic level, as I forever felt knocked-about and injured by the other boys at school. It fostered disgust within me; towards my abusers, and for myself. For decades, this burning remained inside me: it later influenced my descent in the soothing fantasy world of pornography, and my further escape from reality within the often brutal sex-culture of homosexual mating rituals which always resulted in dominance and submission. In the end, all that remained was darkness and desolation. It reminded me of the greatest depiction of the Crucifixion ever imagined, in any artistic medium, including the painterly arts: the Death of Christ as realized in “Ben-Hur.” For, the clouds, rain, thunder, lightening, and oppressive darkness impresses a massive feeling of devastation; but, also one of incredible resolution and finality. That’s how I felt after being spewed forth from the gut of satan: that it was over; that what had come before was done; and that something wonderful was awaiting me. Through the Cross, I saw Light and Salvation. Through the Cross: I saw Hope.
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