What ‘Act of Valor’ and The Navy SEALs Taught Me About God

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Have you ever walked out after a great movie and, rather than call or text your friends, talked with God about it? I talked with God about Act of Valor, a movie featuring active-duty Navy SEALs. In the first main action sequence in the movie, the SEALs have to rescue a female American intelligence operative from the hands of a terrorist. They bust in, kill the bad guys, rescue the badly beaten woman, and make a quick exit. Terrorists cut off several avenues of escape, and the SEALs finally have to ditch their vehicle in the river. Just as things look hopeless, two special warfare combatant-craft crewmen (SWCC) teams in their boats round the bend of the river and unload massive guns into the enemy vehicles, covering the SEALs as the SWCC teams pull them from the water. I love this scene. I’ve probably seen it more than a hundred times.

One time I decided to tell God about the scene. After I got done, I asked, “What is Your favorite part of the movie?” To my surprise and delight, He answered, You know the part in the same scene where the SEALs go into the room where the woman is being held captive, tied to a wire bed frame? I like it when the SEAL cuts the ties holding her down and covers her nakedness with a nearby curtain. I like it when he says, “We are here to take you home.” I like it when he picks her up and runs out to the waiting truck to whisk her to safety. I like it when he covers her body with his, protecting her from enemy fire. And I like it when, after the SEALs are pulled from the water, they take the time to treat her wounds. I like all of this because this is what I do.

God rescues us from the evil one. He cuts the ties that bind us. He covers our nakedness. He protects us from the attacks of the enemy with His own body. And the Creator of the universe, Captain of angel armies, gently dresses our wounds.

Next time you get the chance , talk with God about your favorite movie. Tell Him what you like and don’t like. Ask Him what He liked and didn’t like. You’ll probably never be able to view the movie the same way again. And more important, the conversation will cultivate intimacy with God.

Excerpt from ‘Contagious Disciple Making: Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery (p. 82)’. by David L. Watson and Paul D. Watson, Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Image by Patrick The Smith