They were designed to scare us. And they did, in a big way. The words “We Are Not Alone” on the movie posters were enough to send chills of apprehension and anticipation up the spines of movie-goers in the ‘70s, drawing enough of them out to make the movie they promoted the most successful Columbia Picture to date. The movie was Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the premise, of course, was that humankind was not alone in the universe, but somewhere out there in space, alien life-forms also existed.
The movie was fictional (most of us think, anyway), but the tagline spoke absolute truth. We are, in fact, not alone.
With my youngest son’s permission, I have to share with you a page out of his journal, written a few weeks ago. When I read the words, I was challenged and inspired to strive to have the simple, strong, unquestioning faith of a child. Here is what he wrote:
My son is right. In Joshua 1:9, God says to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Unlike the movie tagline, these words were clearly intended to alleviate fear, and inspire courage. And they do, in a big way. What could be more encouraging than the truth that, no matter what we are going through, what suffering we may be enduring, whether or not we understand why we have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, or financial ruin, or broken relationships, or illness, there is one truth we can cling to – God is always with us.
Although that is the central theme of my novel, The Watcher, I sometimes forget this truth. Those are the times that I find myself worrying about my children, afraid to step out of my comfort zone to do the task God has called me to, or anxious about how we are going to pay the bills this month.
We are not meant to live in fear and anxiety. We are meant to be strong and of good courage, knowing, as my son reminded me through the words in his journal, the Lord is with us.
We are not alone. And nothing could be more reassuring (and less scary) than that.
Press on, my friends. Press on,
Here is a beautiful video of The Sydney Staff Songsters singing “We Are Not Alone.”