Not being much of a fan of the horror movie genre, it was a bit strange to find myself in a theater last night watching the new film, A Quiet Place. I had been intrigued by what I had heard about this movie. The idea of a film with almost no dialogue and very little sound really caught my attention and I just had to see for myself what it was about. I was glad I did.
I’m going to try my best not to include any spoilers about the story for those who might read this and want to see the movie but, if you don’t want to know anything at all about the plot, perhaps you should skip the rest of this paragraph. A Quiet Place is the story of a family trying to survive in a place that has been somehow infested with ghastly creatures who attack sounds. Consequently, these people have to go out of their way to create lives as devoid of sounds as possible. Any unnatural sound could mean death within seconds. The result is a film experience as full of tension as I have ever experienced. I was actually physically sore after this movie because my every muscle and nerve was tensed from start to finish. It is, in my opinion, a remarkable achievement in filmmaking. And, if you choose to see it, I promise, you will never sit in a more quiet movie theater. Although ours was pretty full, you could have heard a pin drop. As, I said…remarkable.
This movie got me to thinking about our world in a different way. As I watched this family struggling to create a quiet environment for the sake of survival, in a strange way, I found myself envying something about their lives. The thought kept occurring to me that these people did not worry one whit about politics, who was president, what this person or that just tweeted–none of that mattered. Their every waking thought was about caring for one another’s well-being. They were forced by extreme circumstances to fully focus on what mattered most–each other. Noise, in their world, was deadly.
As I watched their struggle, it began to dawn on me that noise in our world can be deadly, too.
It can kill our joy, drown out love and consume us with hate.
We are called to love one another. But the noise of our world can quickly take our focus off what matters most.
Watching a horror film reminded me how important it is to separate myself from the noise from time to time. The noise of this world can be toxic to our souls. It can poison us. We all need to withdraw more often to a quiet place–a place that is insulated from the noise of the world that threatens to kill our joy. drown out the love and consume us with hate.
I’m reminded that Jesus knew this all too well. Throughout his ministry, Christ was often embattled by the noise of his world. Being human, he was affected by that noise just as we are. He often found moments to steal away by himself to a quiet place. He knew he needed a quiet place to cleanse himself of the noise pollution that had been taking a toll upon him.
We need to follow that example. We need, often, to retreat to a quiet place and pray, reflect, and regain our focus on what matters most. We need to purge ourselves of the toxic noise that constantly surrounds us and reclaim the peace and love that we are called to carry with us and share with those we encounter.
It’s a strange thing, I know. I walked into a horror movie last night as a man who’d been poisoned by the noise of the world. I walked out with new understanding that noise can be deadly–that noise can kill my joy and infect me with bitterness and hate–that a quiet place is waiting for me if I’ll take the time to retreat to it.
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