The Force Awakens

By Janett Miller
By Isaac Harris
By Charlyn Valencia
By Chad Golden
By Bruce Riley
By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Amy Owen
By Jill Asibelua
By Madi McGraw
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Jeremy Varnell
By Norm Headlam
By Kristi Herring
By Alban Snider
By Sissy Mathew
By Oscar Camacho, Jr
By Shannon Pugh
By Al Palamara
By Don Robb
By Mike Pope
By Melanie Mechsner
By Kyla Mikusek
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Shannon Lewis
By Chase Studdard
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Tiffany Stein
By Barry Jones
By Erin Hargrave
By Bryan Eck
By Tricia Kinsman
By Jason Stein
By Nat Pugh
By Sarah Kemper
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Lindsey Sobolik
By Scott McClellan
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Sherene Joseph
By Earl Davidson
By Rebecca Perry
By Joe Padilla
By Christian Melendez
By Bruce Riley
By Isaac Harris
By Amy Leadabrand
By Ben Haile
By Shaun Robinson
By Natalie Franks
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith
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I’ve seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens twice now. In fact, I had seen it twice before the end of 2015. While I’m confessing, I might as well cop to reading a few message boards and Buzzfeed articles about the movie, initiating several debates about Rey’s true identity, and using the term “midi-chlorians” in a sentence.

I know: Uber-Dork. 

In fact, I’m a big enough dork to believe this: there’s a scene this movie that carries some deep truth for our time. That’s right; I think we can learn life lessons from Han Solo. 

In case you need a bit of explanation because you live in the real world more than I do, Star Wars is an epic story of good versus evil set in a galaxy far, far away. In the story, good and evil are the opposing sides of the same powerful, invisible, spiritual “force”, and characters spend a lot of time wrestling through various omens and temptations that point to their place on the dark side or the light. There are unbelievers too — characters who scoff at the idea of a powerful, invisible, spiritual force. No one likes those characters. They don’t get it, and we find their lack of faith disturbing.

In the most recent film, the galaxy has fallen into a secular malaise. The force has gone silent. Believers are few, scattered, and underground. But then, of course, an obscure orphan from a poor desert planet gets caught up in a high-stakes struggle against the dark side and finds herself face-to-face with one of the heroes of lore — Han Solo. The orphan, a girl named Rey, says inquiringly, "There are stories about what happened.” And that’s when the venerable Harrison Ford delivers the line that makes the movie for me:

“It’s true. All of it. The dark side. The Jedi. They’re real.” 

Isn’t that what we long to hear in this galaxy too? An affirmation that our silly yearning for transcendence is legitimate? Relief from the crushing hopeless scientism that tells us we are cosmic, meaningless accidents? A proclamation that there is a bigger story? 

There are, of course, unbelievers in our lives — those who scoff at our beliefs (you think every species on Earth got into a big wooden boat?) and our practices (you give away your money?) and our morals (you abstain from what?) But even they have doubts. Like Rey, they want to believe in something eternal and meaningful. And what they long for — what we all long for, even if we’re not dorks — is for a wizened, rebel veteran to look us in the eye and say, “It’s true. I’ve been to the other side. You’re not crazy. There is a Force. And it’s calling you.”

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