20 Years of Braveheart Part 4 of 4

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What we love about Wallace is true about Jesus

Our lives are a story; a flow of dramatic scenes on elaborate stages involving a host of characters. Other people enter in and a moment later they exit out. Folks step in and deliver critical lines and contribute to the moment, while others continually fill the role of “extras”. Some scenes are glorious and folks make good contributions to the flow, some folks add hurtful and painful contributions. In amazing fashion, we do the same for others in the midst of their stories. This is the reason our hearts are drawn to story, it’s the reason our children demand, “Tell me a story!” We live in one and we resonate with them from an early time and from a deep place. 

Just last week, a friend of mine entered into my story and mine into his. He gave me a gift, a book. It was a leather-bound hard cover and when I opened it the title was revealed; Braveheart- Novel and Screenplay by Randal Wallace. It was another moment God was authoring a gift to be delivered to my heart from another character, a courier and a friend. It’s often how the Father shows his son, “I see you, I love you.” What are the odds? While I am writing these past weeks of the 20th Anniversary of Braveheart, the novel shows up?

I’m writing blogs to commemorate this epic story, Braveheart…
My friend happens to read the blog…
He knows Randal Wallace personally and...
God’s heart becomes his heart and he delivers a package that fills my heart.

All in a “little” life moment? In the giving of a book? Yep, all in a little book. As my friends and I like to say, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

So… I start reading Braveheart the novel. To my surprise (and yet I’m not sure why) we say it all the time, “The book is better than the film.” There is always so much more in the book.

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As I turned into the very first pages, I was stunned. Another gift. This time God delivered through Randal Wallace, the author of Braveheart. Imagine taking two years in the making of a moment, or even ten, probably more. Having finished the writing and publishing of my new book, The Heart of a Warrior; Before You Can Be the Warrior, You Must Become the Beloved Son. I wrote with a deep conviction about the Father/Son relationship and how crucial it is to a man becoming a man. And no matter how or what a man got from his earthly father, there is a Father/Son relationship even greater still. One that must be experienced and allowed to overrun all that wasn’t good in a man’s story and highlight all that was good in a man’s story so a man can move forward in his role… loving, offering strength, being fierce and able to be kind. The Heavenly Father to the Image Bearing-Beloved Son is that overriding relationship in which the masculine heart is to find rest as well as mission.

So, in the first moments of entering into a story that inspired me from outside the scriptures to point to the truth within them, I find these opening lines in the Dedication that Randal Wallace writes in his novel, Braveheart…

I had no particular awareness when I wrote the story how central were the father/son relationships within it, nor did I imagine how powerful an impact it would have on my own father…

…This is not a story that I gave Scotland, or the world; it’s a story that was given to me, given to me by all who love Scotland, who understand it, who feel its thunder and its music and its sacred silences. I owe it to my father and to my sons—and to all fathers and sons.

As I read his words, my heart said, “I knew it.”

And in that moment I felt God say, “I know you did, I wanted you to rest in knowing well done.”

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The great power and affect of the story Braveheart, can be found in many of its ingredients. But nothing is as powerful as the type of Christ we find in the character William Wallace. When I say type, I mean resemblance, likeness, what they share in common. The Braveheart story invites us to see in its ingredients all the elements in The Greatest Story… our Larger Story. Crucial ingredients like good vs evil, love and sacrifice, battle, nobility, betrayal, hardship, journey, desire, overcoming, friendship and freedom. As John Eldredge wrote in Wild at Heart, “Our story is the greatest love story set in the midst of the fiercest battle”. That is our story… its context… and the characters we are being invited to play.

From William Wallace’s last words… FREEDOM!

To some of Jesus first words (Luke 4:17-20)…

He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 

These stories align. Braveheart borrows its power from the Larger Story. All great stories do. Some time later, Christ said,

“I came that they might have Life and have it abundant and full.” John 10:10

It is for this that we were made… and it is for this that He came!

Like Paul wrote to the hearts in Galatia-

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1… FREEDOM!

It is one of the greatest packages the Heavenly Father delivered to each of us through His Beloved Son, Jesus… He became like us, sinful man, so we could become like Him, glorious, beloved sons (Romans 8) that we might know, experience, see and hear… enjoy!... the Heavenly Father/Image Bearer-Beloved Son relationship for which we were made.

What a man is drawn to, what he loves about the character William Wallace is found in and borrowing from the person Jesus. He is the, and is our, Brave Heart.