People lined up outside Westminster Abbey to pray.
I know I have written about my little World War II buffs. You can imagine they were eagerly anticipating the release of Dunkirk. I was nervous that it wasn’t going to be a movie I could take them
to. That they would throw in some completely unnecessary side story that was inappropriate. To my delight, the reviews came back positive. So, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I took the non-nappers to a rare treat - the movies.
If you are like me, you had no idea what happened at Dunkirk. It wasn’t until we began reading endlessly on WWII, that these events came alive for me. Basically, the Germans had the
English army and a majority of their weapons and equipment surrounded in the town of Dunkirk in France. There were also French, Belgian and Dutch soldiers trapped. Right across the English Channel lay safety in England, but how to get the men off
the beach to safe shores was problematic. The German army was closing in, their aircraft were bombing the men, and their submarines were wreaking havoc on those vessels that were trying to take the men to safety. In a heroic move, all civilian
boats that were able crossed the English Channel and were able to rescue 330,000 of the 400,000 stranded. It truly was miraculous that so many were saved. This occurred May 26, 1940- June 4, 1940.
When we got home from the movie, Johnny ran up to Tate, who stayed home with the nappers, and exclaimed, “Dad, you would have LOVED the movie! There was TONS of sacrifice!” Tate is always talking to the kids about
making sacrifices for each other and God. As you can imagine, sometimes it feels as a parent that no one is listening. Tate turned to me and said, “Well at least Johnny is listening!” It was a small bit of needed encouragement
to us as parents.
We did really enjoy the movie, but Christopher Nolan, the director, left out one HUGE part of the story out. King George VI, seeing that British defeat was
so close at hand, called for a National Day of Prayer to be held on May 26th. In a televised broadcast he encouraged the people to ask God for his help in this most dire of circumstances. The people of England responded. There is a picture
of people lined up outside Westminster Abbey waiting to pray. The country literally got down on it’s knees to ask for help. Three miraculous things happened:
Hitler, for reasons still unknown, halted the advance of his armoured columns precisely when he could have annihilated Britain's army. For three days he waited. This gave the Allies precious time necessary for evacuation.
A huge storm broke out over the Germans aircraft preventing them from taking off. This again, allowed the Allies to move to the beach without much interruption from German aircraft.
There was a great, unusual calm that settled over the English Channel which enabled the small sailing vessels of the civilians to cross safely to rescue the soldiers.
These three events together, are nothing short of miraculous. God had heard their prayers.
What a sadness that this was completely left out of the movie. Christopher
Nolan had missed the real story, God’s answer to the prayers of England!
Of course, we live in an age where everything has to be explained, people don’t look to see the miracles
God works in our very midst. We wonder how those alive during the time of Jesus could have failed to see he was the Messiah despite all the miracles he performed. But would we have had eyes to see and ears to hear? Do we now? When we
pray, do we pray with the confidence that God is listening? Do we pray with full confidence that God knows how to answer our prayers better than we do?
These are not easy,
quick questions. They require reflection, and speaking for myself, are areas that require spiritual growth.
What are the miracles and gifts God has given us in our lives that we are
missing? What do we not have eyes to see and ears to hear? God shows His love for us each and every day. When we have confidence in this and look to see His gifts, we cannot help but be grateful; and gratitude leads to greater
love of God and joy in our lives. LOOK for God in your life. See what you have missed. He is there.
Now that you know the rest of the story, you can go see the movie.
As Johnny says, “There is TONS of sacrifice!” JMJ