Trapped – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Posted: December 18, 2012 by Emilio Garofalo Neto in Uncategorized


First of all watch this trailer.

The Diving Bell and the Buttefly

This is stunning movie that flew below most people’s radar. It tells the story of a man, Jean, who one day suffers some sort of stroke becoming then almost completely impaired physically. He can’t move at all. And yet, his mind is still perfectly active. All he can do is blink. Imagine yourself in such situation; you would feel trapped, lonely, frustrated, perhaps you would even wonder is death is a better option than living like that. The film explores the idea of a man, with a  fully functional mind being trapped in a useless body. Can this condition be overcome? Can we do things that make us man even with so severe limitations? It is a great film that will challenge and inspire you.

One  thing to consider is how we often feel trapped in our lives, like it is impossible to exist in this skin. It may be because of problems, of diseases, of fear – the easy way out is to cease to function, to go into a downward spiral of giving up on life. The Bible tells us, however, that we are able to press forward even when paralyzed by fear and circumstances; as long as we depend on God’s strength and solutions, rather than our own. In this sense the movie provides am overall beautiful illustration of pressing on in spite of dire and terrible situations. Jean is able to write books by spelling letter by letter with the blinking of his eyes. Stunning stamina and perseverance for a task that is way too hard for him. We are called to perform tasks that require from us more than we can give; we depend on external power for that.

There is another matter I wish to consider: Is the body simply a prison for the soul? There has been historically a complicated understanding of what it means to have a body . Many in church history, following more Plato than the Bible, argued for the evil of the physical world, the need of one’s spirit getting free of the prison that is the body. This has created many wrong views and practices; asceticism, isolation, prohibition of marriage and a pervasive idea in evangelical churches that we will spend eternity in some disembodied form; living as spirits in heaven.

The Bible does not call the body a prison for the soul at all. Man is made in God’s image; both his body and his soul are integral parts of who he is before God. When Paul and others speak against the evil of the flesh, they do not mean the veil of the physical part of us, what they are referring to is our sinful condition, which is in fact a spiritual problem.

The Biblical teaching is that all of us are breaking down; we all were born with bodies that will eventually fail; some begin earlier than others, but all fail and die. Our hope is not in how strong, healthy and active we can be, but in preparing our spirits through Christ, not for a disembodies existence, but for a glorious resurrection in which our perishable bodies will be raised imperishable, and we will gloriously display for eternity what it means to be redeemed mankind along with our master. Go read 1 Corinthians 15 and fill your heart with joy and hope.



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