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Monday, May 31, 2010

Lessons on Emptiness from the Movie 300

The theme for today’s blog carnival (hosted by Bridget Chumbley) is “Emptiness.” Visit her site for thoughts from others.

"Freedom isn't free at all.
It comes with the highest of costs—
the cost of blood."
~ Queen Gorgo, 300

Lessons on Emptiness from the Movie 300

It is said that in heat of battle, a soldier fights not for country but for brother soldier. Yet if not for home and freedom, the soldier would not train for battle or go to war in the first place.

I appreciate the war movies which illustrate both, whether with the credibility of We Were Soldiers, or in the fantasy historical 300. In the latter, all of value to the men—sons, land, freedom—is represented in their women. The Persian enemy threatened, “We will make your women, your children our slaves.” Such taunts solidified the Spartans’ resolve to fight.

The queen of Spartan king Leonidas did not go with him to battlefield, but fought for him from her place at home, bolstered by the esteem He’d shown her. She was privy to talks with foreign diplomat—a man slain by Leonidas for insults capped with disdain for his queen. In hour of decision, after consulting others, Leonidas came to her who knew him best, and she articulated the cause in his heart: “Fight not as a king ... fight as a free man.” For his cause she sacrificed her dignity to a traitor yet remained above degradation. She appealed with eloquence to the council authority who could give her king support. Leonidas took courage in death with the words, “My queen, my wife, my love.” When the time came to lay down his life, the message he sent was the simple request, “Remember me.”

Call me a naïve romantic or out of date for my perspective. In this world, a woman’s foremost purpose is still as champion of the men in her life—be they father, son, brother, husband—empowering them with respect, sacrificial action, worthy words. A man’s foremost purpose is esteeming the love of his life and everything of value she represents with the laying down of his life, whether with his blood or in day to day sacrifice. Neither death nor degradation should threaten our resolve.

Is it possible that we live with emptiness in our souls because we seek to fulfill ourselves in lesser purposes?

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
~ Ephesians 5:31-33 (NKJV)

There is a far greater reason for the soul’s emptiness—its God-shaped void.

Temporal romance awakens us to the divine romance. This love story is of the mighty Prince Who creates a magnificent home for the love of His life. He patiently woos His love for many years, and finally betroths her to Himself by defeating with His shed blood the evil dragon which has long tormented her. He asks as He lays down His life, "Remember Me."

We are the love of His life, and our purpose is to be constant champions of His cause, shown in our great respect for Him, sacrificial action, words of appeal to the authority of the Father. The world may degrade us, yet if we are humble we remain above it.

We feel emptiness when we seek fulfillment apart from the cause of our King. We also feel emptiness in separation from our King. But unlike the queen of King Leonidas, we are assured of our Lord's return, and He remains with us through His Holy Spirit.

They said to the LORD, "We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray." So they turned from their idols and served the LORD. And His soul could no longer endure the misery of His people.
~ Judges 10:15-16 (author paraphrase)

I believe that God’s great love for us creates a humanity-shaped void in His soul. I believe He knows misery in His soul in our separation from Him. It begins to be satisfied when we are reconciled to Him, and give His Spirit a home in our hearts.

But until the day all separation ends, our God shares our emptiness.

This post is dedicated to all the military and civilian personnel who have given their lives to protect us and our freedoms. They have my profound gratitude, on Memorial Day and every day.

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to Comments or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Image from the movie 300, © 2006 Warner Brothers Pictures


  1. My friend, you bless, as always. I love you.

  2. This is a gorgeous post!!!! You really have a gift. I'm so glad to participate as a commenter and learn from you. Iron sharpens iron, and you certainly sharpen me.

  3. So many powerful thoughts in this post. Thanks Anne. I have a lot to chew on.

  4. Remember me--two words still ringing in my head.

    Making me laugh a bit that you chose 300, one of the most violent movies I've ever seen. ;)

    Mail came. Thank you!
    ~ Wendy

  5. Denise ~ If I bless you a tenth as much as you've blessed me, I am content.

    T ~ :D I still think I learn more to do these posts than I can adequately pass on. And you are gorgeous.

    Jason ~ With all the worthy pieces in the blog carnival, I'm glad to have something worth remembering.

    Wendy ~ I don't watch a ton of war movies from which I might have chosen. I didn't know 300 was comic-book inspired when I was watching the outrageous graphics. I was nonetheless touched to see any movie depicting an ancient culture show honor to women, because history tends to focus on the ones degraded and forget how often love was a powerful motivator--the most powerful motivator. Men have battled for power and riches--and for love of home and God. I'd rather die for those I love than live for things which don't endure. (Happy mail reading. I hope the love is evident.)

  6. There is a hole in the human heart that can be filled by only One Thing. Great post, Anne.

  7. General Patton said one time that a person should never fight a battle they gain nothing from winning. -- When we fight worldly battles we gain nothing that ultimately matters and have a lot to lose ... emptiness results .

    We must learn to look at our world, look at our relationships, fight our battles, through our Father's eyes ... then fulfillment is experienced.

    Thanks Anne.

  8. Glynn ~ Thank you for the affirmation. Do we comprehend the size of that void before we begin to comprehend the size of God?

    Rusty ~ Spoken like a true counselor. How hard to weigh the reward against present cost! Regardless the cost in the moment, the desparity can be incalculably enormous against future loss--or future gain. Good reason to ask for God's perspective.

  9. You challenge me -- my faith is not as clear or as strong as yours.

    and in that challenge, you inspire me to keep seeking, keep exploring, keep knowing God.

    thank you.

  10. Anne, What an awesome post! What a privilege to read it! Beautifully written! I have bookmarked your site but I wish you had an email subscription. I would love to receive your posts in my inbox. Blessings to you!

  11. "Is it possible that we live with emptiness in our souls because we seek to fulfill ourselves in lesser purposes?"


    What a beautiful post. You bless and challenge me every time I visit.

  12. Thought-provoking post, Anne. When we speak with words such as "return" or "reconciled", we do imply separation. Is it possible that we both hold and not hold God within ourselves? Or that He does and does not live in us? And if God dwells in us, how can we be separated from Him and be empty? These are the thoughts I struggle with, because to believe He is not within us is, perhaps, to despair.

  13. I think Sandra's comment is what struck me most. "Lesser purposes" indeed-great wisdom and truth in that...

  14. Louise ~ I'm glad to shine for the Lord, and grateful to know that He uses me to challenge you. My faith is sometimes more knowing than doing. I fail often. For you or for me or anyone else, we need only get back up and stay in the Lord's shadow.

    Lynn ~ How blessed I am by your words! Thanks for the email. Glad to have you subscribe.

    Sandra ~
    Jeff ~
    Those lesser purposes are a torment. I continually pray for the Lord's perspective to see them for what they are.

  15. Maureen ~

    I am particularly struck by your comment and question. I find it so thought-provoking that it deserves a full post Q&A response rather than a brief reply here.

    I will plan to use your questions for this Friday and postpone the piece I'd half-written.

  16. Beautiful and thought-provoking, Anne. Your writing really makes me dig deeper. I know so little and want to know Him so much more.

  17. I love this...

    But until the day all separation ends, our God shares our emptiness.

    So much to think about from this wonderfully written post. Thanks, Anne.

  18. Wow. I'm stunned. You have hit the nail on the head, both in reference to our earthly, romantic relationships and regarding our ultimate romance with our King.


  19. I like the way you said this: "We are the love of His life, and our purpose is to be constant champions of His cause." It is nice to be reminded that we are the love of His life.

  20. Really enjoyed this (maybe because I love this movie!). What struck me was that the opposite is also true. Without the queen to fight for, the king faces the same emptiness and without the support she gives, there's no motivation to continue the fight.

  21. I've passed on to you The Versatile Blog Award.
    Congrats. Please see my post from today for more info.

  22. Candy ~ I hope you'll be back for the post on the Trinity, planned for a little later today.

    Bridget ~ I think our God is much closer than we imagine.

    Lainie ~ A romantic at heart, I can't help but see the divine romance everywhere. Thank you for your kindness.

    Fatha Frank ~ Oh but that every monarch of history might have fought so nobly! Glad to know you like this movie.

    Annette ~ Thank you most kindly for the recognition.

  23. Tricia ~ After all He's done to prove His love, how could anyone think He doesn't wait for us most eagerly? Surely the time draws near ...


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