It’s Complicated

My husband and I have been watching a television series called A French Village (it’s in French, so don’t get it if you don’t like subtitles).  The action takes place during World War II when the Nazis are occupying the village.  It brings up all sorts of moral dilemmas and contradictions such as:

  • The mayor, a good man, collaborates with the Germans because he believes that in his position he can at least try to make a bad situation better for the townspeople
  • A young woman falls in love with a German soldier and has to decide if she should run away to try to be with him, or stay and marry a local man
  • A police officer proposes to a Jewish woman and saves her from being sent to a camp, but deports her mother
  •  Resistance members have to decide if they should cooperate with the Communists on the theory that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”
  •  Resources of many kinds are lacking and have to be allocated, not always fairly
  • Life and death decisions are made

Well, you get the idea.  War makes the world chaotic and even when the characters try to make moral decisions, the correct answer isn’t clear.  It’s complicated and the result of a choice is often ambiguous.

Guess what, friends, according to the Bible, we are also at war.  Ephesians 6:12 tells us,

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

We, too will have chaotic situations in our lives, caused by sin.  We’ll have to make difficult decisions, and we won’t always know what is the right choice.  Life is complicated.  We may have good intentions and still make choices that work out badly;  we may be swayed by emotions or by what seems best according to worldly standards;  we may just choose selfishly, because that’s the way we often are.  The French people couldn’t save themselves, they needed the help of outside forces.  We can’t save ourselves, either– we need a Savior, someone who can bring order to disorder and work out all the complications of daily life for our ultimate good.  That part doesn’t have to be complicated.  Jesus said,

“I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6

For more on World War II see:

Memories of a Devil: My Life As a Jesuit in Dachau by Father Chester Fabisiak–Book Review

Corrie Ten Boom on How to Travel Light

A Quote From Corrie ten Boom