My son Kevin recently watched an award-winning 2006 documentary called God Grew Tired of Us. At his recommendation, I watched it last night. Kevin told me to be prepared to cry.
I was prepared to cry. But I wasn’t prepared to grieve.
The camera follows the story of three young Sudanese men who emigrate to America from the refugee camp in which they have lived since their flight from Sudan years before. The film backtracks to document the violent events which killed and scattered their families and left them to survive alone. As youngsters, John, Daniel, and Panther joined the thousands of “Lost Boys” who made the long trek across treacherous terrain without food or water in search of safety in another country.
They were among the fortunate ones who survived the journey. After years in a refuge camp, they were eventually chosen to emigrate to America. Through the lens, we watch them live the joy of hope, the bewilderment of being thrust into a new culture, and the determination to build new lives in this country. I laughed as they struggled to learn how to turn on a light and tasted their first potato chips. I flinched when they wondered what Santa and a tree of lights had to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.
I cried as they walked in amazement through grocery stores bulging with food, their new American clothes hanging from their gaunt frames as a pudgy American stared at them with frank distaste. I was amazed at their love for one another, their commitment to care for those they left behind, their simple appreciation for all that we take for granted.
It was painful to hear John, in his measured and thoughtful manner, express the belief that God had grown tired of his country and had allowed chaos and death to consume his beloved Sudan. His humility was touching. I grieve for the arrogance with which we have left behind such simplicity of heart.
And it made me wonder: Is God growing tired of us? Will He weary of bestowing abundance on an ungrateful, unbelieving nation? The group that made the trek across Sudan are called “The Lost Boys.”
But I wonder who is really lost.