Sometimes we come across a morsel of spiritual truth or a reminder of truth, as in this case, when we’re not looking for one. This happened the other night while watching …

… okay, I’m a fan of old westerns …

… The Return of the Seven (1966), with Yul Brynner and Robert Fuller.

Two characters having a conversation:

Chris, played by Yul Brynner—a professional gunfighter who uses his skills to protect and rescue the oppressed (talk about a headache for the politically correct); and

A Catholic priest, played by Fernando Rey, who has realized that his zeal to rebuild a broken down church has resulted in the enslavement of poor, defenseless Mexican farmers from a nearby village.

The priest is ready to give up the priesthood because of what his actions have done to these people. Chris says (as I remember),

“You’re not down, you’ve fallen. It’s time to get up, at least as far as your knees.”

Yul Brynner knocks that line out of the park! I grabbed the remote (you thought all guys white knuckled the remote, right? Not always), and clicked the pause button. Rewind. Whoa!! That is some ‘right-on’ stuff from the man in black. Really, Chris wears all black.

Then it dawns on me that Chris, gun fighter/theologian, is probably quoting an old Puritan (which I can’t remember) who said that we—Christians—because of God’s sustaining and faithful grace, may fall, but we won’t fall completely.

It is possible, that Chris, gun fighter/theologian, was just using his spiritual gift to encourage the priest who was in the depths of despair. Either way, it is obvious from the outcome of the battle that the priest went back to his prayer closet, got up on his knees, and prayed. The Lord revealed His right arm and brought deliverance. The movie ended before we saw the spiritual renewal that spread to the nearby villages. I’m sure something like that would’ve happened, right?

Bottom line: let’s take Chris’ advice.

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