Amazing Grace

Last night we saw Amazing Grace, which was excellent. Some parts of it were filmed in my neck of the woods, and all of the scenes outside Wilberforce's home were filmed at Harnhill, where I spent a weekend last September.

There were many things that struck me about this film, not least the awful stomach dropping feeling when they really brought home the conditions that the slaves were kept in on the ships and in the plantations and the way that these people were talked about and viewed by the British Parliament of the time. It was the way that Wilberforce's friends persuaded him that he could serve his country and God at the same time. Seems so straightforward to us, but I guess in those days, it was an either/or situation.

There was another scene where Wilberforce has 'found God' and all he wants to do is spend time in his creation rather than being stuck inside a Parliament building. He says that 'God found me, actaully, its all a bit inconvenient really' but seemed so full of joy about it that he didn't really mind. And how true that is. Sometimes God asking us to do something, or the way in which he moves in our lives can be inconvenient, but I think that when we realise that the Creator of the Universe wants to use us to fulfil his will, it's mindblowing and suddenly, you don't really mind any more.

The scene that brought a tear to my eye, and that of Hubby, was the very last scene where the Bill to abolish slavery was passed in Parliament after years of Wilberforce's faithful lobbying and hard work. Wilberforce gets a standing ovation while he just sits, utterly exhausted. But then he turns to look, and the first and only person that his eyes rest upon is his wife who looked so proud of him. I get the feeling that the work to get the slave trade abolished was very much a team game between Mr and Mrs W. It was certainly a look of 'we've done it'. And it reminded me again of just how important a wife is to her husband's success in life. He probably would have given up had it not been for her belief and support of him. Yes, she was in the shadows, yes, he was the one speaking in Parliament and doing the lobbying. But it was such a team effort. May all marriages be like that one, where husband and wife work together willingly, happily and sacrificially.

Excellent film, if you have not seen it, do go.