Living in Two Worlds

My only hobby is watching movies. Movies generally fall into two categories, reflecting reality or fantasy. Realistic movies depict real lives. They are blue and dark in color tone and make us depressed after watching them. Other movies have stories that are unrealistic, even fantastic. They use a lot of yellow and orange tones and make us happy after watching them.

The movie “Pan’s Labyrinth” is the rare movie that is both realistic and fantastic. It’s set in Spain in 1944, when the country was divided into two factions, Republicans and Fascists. The heroine Ofelia is a young girl whose widowed mother remarries a Fascist unit commander fighting against Republican guerrillas.

The heroine lives in two worlds: the real world and the fantasy world. Her real world is evil and cruel. But her fantasy world is bright and hopeful. Fauns and fairies appear in her fantasy world and tell her that she was once a princess of their world who was lost and missed by her parents.

To Ofelia, her two worlds aren’t separate; they intersect. For example, the faun brings her a magical remedy when her mother is sick, with which she recovers. Her mother’s doctors are baffled by her sudden recovery and simply call it a miracle.

Near the end of the movie, Ofelia is shot by her evil stepfather and dies. The two worlds overlap on the screen. In one world, she slowly bleeds to death in a dark wood, but in the other she walks amid cheers from the crowds with a princess crown on her head toward thrones where her mother and real father are seated.

Obviously, this movie is fiction. But in a way, Christians also live in two worlds like Ofelia: the visible world that is controlled by Satan, evil spirits, and their followers, and another, invisible world that is ruled by the triune God and His angels. One is dark and cruel; the other is bright and warm.

Christians can be either happy or sad depending on which world they focus on. But we should remember that the visible world will eventually disappear while the invisible world will endure forever. This tells us all we need to know about which world we should focus on.

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