I have been out with friends over the years to see a movie or a stage play and a term that is all too poorly considered is “wasn’t that prophetic?” This comment or those of similar affect irritate me to the core, I generally challenge this comment by asking the person saying such things as “why? Please explain” this has never appeared to have gone down well. I have been accused of being difficult or argumentative for asking such a thing but I am always genuinely keen to know how the art form was thought to be prophetic. I am a creative person and I am not against art being prophetic but the lack of understanding about such comments lead me to believe there is need for more education around this idea.
I have seen films, read books and seen stage plays over the years that have touched me emotionally and some times quite profoundly. The movie “Its a Wonderful Life” is a film I’ve seen probably 15 times, has me weeping buckets every time, it touches something deep in me about fear, failure and acceptance. The film “Serpico” about an honest New York cop who refuses to be drawn into Police corruption stirs my soul into a place of integrity that to be honest scares me. My soul is often touched and profoundly affected by art. If this is understood as prophecy in art then prophecy is not what this is.
I think being emotionally stirred or affected by art is a beautiful thing, it allows you to be touched and your emotions freed so that your emotional capacity is deepened and strengthened. Sometimes our emotional literacy is stretched which allows us to integrate and love in a more substantial and effective manner. I remember when I was a teenager I went to see the movie “The Champ” at the end of the movie the boxer dies with his small son shaking the dead body screaming “wake up champ, wake up.” When everyone left the cinema virtually ever man had clearly been in tears while in order to save face they all berated the film as rubbish.
I pray that men in particular can gain a sense of emotional literacy within the church and to acknowledge that they are emotional beings. I pray they can accept that it is absolutely part of being a person that to weep and be affected by emotions is not a place of weakness but one of strength. I pray too that women can raise boys that have feelings for themselves and therefore towards a God they cannot see but experience him in such a unique way that this nation will change and turn towards an emotional loving God.