“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3
During the Christmas Season, my wife and I went to see the movie, “Unbroken”, which is a story of the life of Louis Zamperini. It recounts his early childhood, his Olympic heroics, his survival from forty-seven days at sea, his capture and torture by the Japanese army and his rescue from a POW camp at the close of World War II.
After seeing the movie, I thought to myself that they didn’t tell enough of his story to entitle the movie, “Unbroken”. In reality, they should have named the movie, “Broken”, because, at the point where the movie ended, Zamperini was a broken man.
After the war, Zamperini became a heavy drinker of alcohol. He had recurring nightmares of his captivity and torture. He was a sufferer of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). His marriage was on the verge of divorce because he was so broken by his past experiences. And most importantly, he was not forgiving of his tormentors.
The movie is touted as a story of forgiveness. It is not a story of forgiveness. It is a story of brokenness. By the end of the movie, Louis Zamperini was broken, not unbroken. His life was much like the life of the Psalmist when he wrote, “I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.” Psalm 31:12
But the Zamperini story doesn’t end with the movie’s last scene. On the verge of divorce, his wife, Cynthia Applewhite Zamperini, persuades Louis to attend a Billy Graham Crusade. Louis commits his life to Christ and remembered that he vowed to God that if he ever made through the war alive, he would live a life committed to the Lord.
Almost immediately, his nightmares ceased. His addiction to alcohol eventually ceased. His PTSD ceased. His marriage was restored. He was finally able to forgive his tormentors. Louis Zamperini became unbroken.
As it says in the Psalms, only the Lord “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”.
People ask me if Unbroken was a good movie. It was a good movie. What kept it from being a great movie was that it ended before Louis Zamperini’s life really became unbroken.
Does your life seem broken? The only way it can become unbroken is through a relationship with Jesus.
If you would like to pursue such a relationship give us a call at our church. We would love to help you experience what Louis Zamperini experienced in his unbrokenness.
Something to think about …