By GJ Frye
Silent film is an art form that has fallen from its prime and has become something that tends to be found in only the most eccentric of art houses and as tools for learning the craft of film. “The Artist” has made a statement about how important silent film is, both in the story it told and the way it was produced. Being an (almost) all silent film, it was still just as enjoyable to watch as one with the most witty of dialogue. It spoke volumes without any volume. That is also the most important aspect the film to offer in terms of being a stone God can use to cry out His glory.
While the plot was endearing as we see a silent film “artist” fall from popularity and try to earn his way in a world that has become infatuated with “talkies” (and thinks silent film stars are all washed up), this time “The Artist” finds gravitas behind the scenes rather than in between them.
A large complaint against Christians and our God is that He remains silent in a world where there is so much pain and so much wrongdoing. We even find the Body turning on itself asking why God won’t reveal Himself. But there are two things that I believe we overlook when we look up and don’t see the silver lining on the clouds during a rainy day.
The first is that God should not have to be continually questioned. Who are we to question the Director of reality. Especially as Christians. If an actor signs up to be part of a film, as we have as Christians with Christ’s blood, we don’t really have the right tell God that what He’s doing is wrong. We need to trust that what He is doing is for the best even if we don’t always understand His directorial choices.
If He casts someone we believe is weak as the main character, we should trust in God and the potential He sees rather than the lack of potential that we see. Jesus was meek, which means he was wise about sharing His power, not that He was weak. He appeared weak to many people who opposed him and He still seems weak to the secular world, but His power is beyond our understanding. God knew what he was doing, and Jesus knew what He was doing the entire time.
We must use Christ as the example above all, but there are plenty of other cases in Scripture where our Father chooses someone that many oppose, such as David to slay Goliath.
The second overlooked truth is the one that relates most in context with “The Artist.” Silence is key in hearing the most important messages God has to teach us.
When Elijah was trying to hear God’s voice on the mountain, he didn’t hear it in the wind, fire or earthquake, he heard God in the silence. “The Artist” made an extremely meaningful statement to Hollywood by being a silent film. God does the same to us.
He expects us to be silent when we seek His voice. Silence does not only mean peace from literal noise, but also peace from the noise of our lives. We need to find time to step away from the busyness and enter into the peace that surpasses all understanding.
Sometimes we’re so busy looking for answers and shouting at God that we don’t wait for His peace to fill us. You won’t be able to hear anyone’s answer when you’re too busy shouting at them.
We need to learn to be still and know that God is God and He has control over each and every scene of our lives. Silence is essential to let the one true Artist teach us the lesson we need to learn and create the masterpiece He’s been planning since the beginning.