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'Slumdog Millionaire' Depicts God's Response to Suffering

The movie Slumdog Millionaire won eight Academy Awards in 2009 and gained popular acclaim. The story's poverty, violence, crime, and child exploitation provide a backdrop for a tender story between Jamal, a young man from the slums of Mumbai, India, and his unwavering love for Latika, a beautiful girl he met in the same slum. Jamal and Latika are tragically separated for years, and after they see each other briefly, she's taken from him again. Yet he never stops trying to find her.

Against impossible odds, in the last scene of the film Jamal and Latika finally reunite. He pulls back the long yellow scarf wrapped around her face and sees a long, captor-inflicted scar that disfigures her face. As she looks down in shame, Jamal, his eyes full of tears, holds up her face and kisses her scar. Not first her lips, but her scar. It's as if the scar itself is at last redeemed, somehow made beautiful.

The extraordinary power of the story lies in the depth of their love, forged in a context of years of injustice, evil, suffering, and separation. That climactic, love- filled moment could not have happened without the story's disturbing setting. He could not have kissed her scar if she had no scar.

Possible Preaching Angles: Randy Alcorn concludes: "Though evil cannot be good, it can serve good purposes when contrasted with the beauty of God's goodness. Likewise, the climax of Revelation 21:4, when God wipes away all tears from every eye, could not happen without the billions of tears shed because of the evil and suffering we've endured (and inflicted). It could not happen had Jesus not borne it on the cross for us. In the same way, hasn't God in Christ kissed our scars?"

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