Friday, August 10, 2007

The Harmony of Faith & Life, Part 2: Nacho Libre

I have a surprise hero: Nacho Libre. Yes, I'm talking about the Jack Black-portrayed luchadore. My wife and I watched with that "one eye brow-raised" look on our faces for the better part of the film. But then, it happened. I saw the spirit of the great saints of old flowing through the chubby monk.

Nacho faced the same quandary we all face: Am I a monk, or a wrestler? Well, for us, it may be something like, How can I be a passionate Christian and a _________? Caught on the pointy horns of a (false) vocational dilemma, we can't bring ourselves to give up either side of our lives, and we can't see how they work together. Then, God displayed the answer through Nacho as a living parable.
Nacho had come to pray in the monastery cathedral for a wrestling victory -- already having discovered fresh inspiration through a decision to use all his winnings to help the orphans. Of course, he kept his cotume hidden under his robe, since wrestling was frowned on by the church. As he knelt by the gently flickering candles, his robe caught fire, prompting him to run from the sanctuary and roll wildly on the dry ground outside. Nacho extinguished the flame, but only the top portion of his robe survived, revealing his wrestling tights underneath. At that moment, for all the world to see, Nacho was both monk and luchadore!

The conclusion to the story is a powerful picture of a man who has reconciled his two callings into one. Nacho is able to receive God's blessing as a wrestler, and defeats the menacing "Ramses." The same can be true for us. We can bring our faith to work, and we can bring our work to God. Doing our work with God can make a tremendous difference in how we fulfill our vocation. And coming to church, to God, as a carpenter, a cook, a mother, a student, will allow us to be whole in our worship. (Of course, these roles do not define our identity -- that is found in Christ alone. But to segregate a part of ourselves, thinking it is of no interest to God, will cripple our intimacy with Him.) Viva Nacho Libre!


Anonymous Brent said...

"The brothers, they don't think I know very much crap about the gospel and stuff...but I do." - Nacho

Yes, he does.

8:16 PM  
Blogger melissa said...

Wow. As much as I love that movie, I have never thought of it in such a redemptive way. Thanks for a good word...much-needed.

My life is good! Really good! I get to wake up every morning, at 5AM, and make some soup! It's the best. I love it.

9:51 PM  
Blogger chris said...

Great comments. Classic movie. Did you notice the "conversion" of Steve? (I think that was his name -- Esquelito)

11:02 PM  
Blogger derek said...

This was cool Chris. I really enjoyed it.

2:50 PM  

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