Julie and I recently watched End of the Spear. It is the story of Steve Saint, son of martyred missionary Nate Saint, who reconciles with Mincayani, the very Wauorani warrior who speared his father on January 8, 1956. Dying with Nate Saint on “Palm Beach” that fateful day were Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully and Roger Youderian.
In the gripping climactic scene, Steve Saint and Mincayani are years later at the very place where the gruesome killings occurred. Mincayani confesses to Steve Saint, “I speared your father.” The horror of that life-altering event and the deep heartache of losing and missing his father erupts in Steve Saint. Mincayani forces a spear into Steve’s hands yelling, “Do it! I killed your father! Do it!” Steve Saint, in a very real human moment, has the hateful urge to take revenge. To plunge the spear through Mincayani’s chest. Yet, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we see Steve’s countenance change. He lowers the spear, saying, “No one took my father’s life. He gave it.” Mincayani falls to the ground crying in grief and regret.
I appreciated the director’s skill in this scene. We meet a truly human Steve Saint. A man who has the deep urge to kill, to avenge his father’s senseless death. A human being eye to eye with the very person who created unspeakable pain in his life. Death seems to be the only way to balance the scale. That’s the lie! Light comes into the darkness and the darkness cannot overpower light. Steve Saint is at the mercy of the Great Reconciler just as much as Mincayani is. With Jesus we find a new way out of fear and hatred.
After seeing the movie, I couldn’t shake the Apostle Paul’s stunning words, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” End of the Spear is a contemporary and compelling story of that reality-changing message.
“Mincayani,” Steve Saint says as the movie ends, “is a grandfather. Not only to his own grandchildren, but to my children as well. Dad would have liked that.”
Enemies become friends. No, more than friends. Family.
No one took Jesus’ life from him. He gave it.
Lord Jesus, we stand, we stand in awe of you.
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