I was at an advance screening of the movie Hacksaw Ridge last week. As a Seventh-day Adventist, it was a moment of humility and pride to realize how big an impact my faith and my church could have if both are seen in how I (Adventists) live.
With today’s premiere of the movie, the Internet is abuzz and bursting at the #HacksawRidge hashtag seams—to which I shall add my own :)
Of all I’ve read so far, this one by NPR’s Morning Edition captures best the tenacity of Desmond Doss’ faith. It’s factual, straightforward, and bold. It’s based on Terry Benedict’s 2004 documentary, The Conscientious Objector—which was one of the primary sources for the script of Hacksaw Ridge.
Here are excerpts:
A quiet, skinny kid from Lynchburg, Va., Doss was a Seventh-day Adventist who wouldn’t touch a weapon or work on the Sabbath. He enlisted in the Army as a combat medic because he believed in the cause, but had vowed not to kill. . . .
Doss’ commanding officer, Capt. Jack Glover, tried to get him transferred. In the documentary, Glover says Doss told him, ” ‘Don’t ever doubt my courage because I will be right by your side saving life while you take life.’ ” Glover’s response: ” ‘You’re not going to be by my damn side if you don’t have a gun.’ ” . . . .
Doss saved 75 men — including his captain, Jack Glover — over a 12-hour period. The same soldiers who had shamed him now praised him. “He was one of the bravest persons alive,” Glover says in the documentary. “And then to have him end up saving my life was the irony of the whole thing.” (Read the rest here.)
The first half of the movie tugged at my heart strings. And while the violence and gore of the second had me looking away for most of it, I left in awe of a life lived in complete faith and with a conviction that can never be shaken. And since then, I raised the bar on my own faith-walk.
Feature image by Noom Peerapong on Unsplash