>I saw “Taken” last night at the dollar theatre and I loved it! Not only was it a taut thriller that brought the issue of human trafficking to the mainstream, but it was also a potent metaphor of my relationship with God.
Liam Neeson plays Brian, a former government agent whose job was “to prevent bad things from happening.” He is estranged from his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), a naive seventeen-year-old easily swayed by her stepfather’s material wealth and her best friend Amanda’s rebelliousness. Kim lies to her father about a trip to Paris that is a cover for following U2’s summer tour in Europe. The girls are spotted at the airport and kidnapped by human traffickers for sale into the sex trade. Brian uses all the contacts and skills at his disposal to find his daughter and will stop at nothing until she is recovered.
In so many ways I am just like Kim, and I’d actually been struggling to accept God’s forgiveness Thursday night and Friday. What started as an honestly convicting Hosea-Gomer moment turned into a chorus of “Whore of Babylon,” so to see Brian rescuing his daughter from prostitution hit me particularly hard. It’s always a struggle for me to understand and accept that I am not loved because I am worth redeeming but because it is in God’s nature to love. This movie helped provide a visual of that.
Liam Neeson also played another fiercely devoted father: Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. In that story, Valjean is not even Cosette’s real father. He experienced the transformative forgiveness of the Bishop of Digne and gradually transforms from self-centered to selfless, and as part of that process, he promises to rescue the daughter of Fantine, a prostitute who used to work in his factory. Cosette is staying with the Thenardiers, who abuse and neglect her. When Valjean comes to their inn, Thenardier exploits his wealth and determination to take Cosette away to extort an exorbitant amount of money. Every time I read or see this scene, I am so moved by the father who will do anything for his daughter. Later, after Cosette as grown up and fallen in love with Marius, Valjean risks his life to save the young revolutionary even though he knows Marius will replace him in Cosette’s affections. Now that is love.
And to cap it all off, Liam Neeson voices Aslan in the Narnia movies, yet another analogy for God.
“Safe? Who said anything about safe? Of course He’s not safe! But He is good.” -C.S. Lewis