Loving Darth Vader

Thursday, June 27, 2013 Posted by Debbie Legg

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I’m showing my age by admitting that I saw “Star Wars, Episode 4: A New Hope” in the theater.  Yes, I wanted to be Princess Leia, had crushes on both Luke and Han, and hated Darth Vader.

I believe George Lucas was very wise in producing Episodes 4, 5, and 6 first.  This way we are well aware of which characters are the good guys, which are the bad, and what our appropriate reactions should be. 
If Lucas had made the movies in chronological order, going into Episode 4 we would have an entirely different sentiment toward Darth Vader.  Instead of ominous fear we would be experiencing sympathy--not exactly what you want your audience feeling toward the bad guy at this point in the series.  Knowing Anakin Skywalker’s story makes it difficult to hate Darth Vader. 

Hatred is easy when we keep our enemy as a two-dimensional character.  Learning someone’s story, their wounds, the coping mechanisms that shape their personality, wipes out much of the power of fear and hatred.  

This is one reason God can love even the most heinous of human beings.  He is always with our enemies, the same way He is always with us.  He witnessed the disappointments, the betrayals, the horrors they experienced.  He knows their wounds and the lies they’ve believed about them.  He desires to bring healing and wholeness, but they’ve got to choose Him.  Many don’t.  It quite literally breaks God’s heart. 

It broke Luke Skywalker’s.  Luke learned the ways of the Force and then willingly, lovingly, confronted his father.  “There is good in him.  I can feel it,” he said.  It is Luke’s love, and his unwillingness to compromise this undeserved love, that turns Vader’s heart to choose redemption. 

What could be unleashed throughout the world, throughout the universe, if we purposed to lovingly seek out the good in our enemies?

It would be beyond a force in a galaxy far, far away.  

It would be the power of God.  It would be the power of Love. 

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