Thursday, February 09, 2006


My newest obsession is the TV series Lost. I’m watching Season 1 while rowing in the morning, and I tell ya, it’s making me bounce right over there to workout. (Season 2 will just have to wait until it’s on DVD, so don’t tell me anything.)

As you may know, it’s a series about a group of people marooned on an island after a plane crash. The island has many strange qualities, including creatures that don’t belong there (like polar bears) and some kind of supernatural effect on the people who live there.

The show so far (from what I’ve watched) has included healing, redemption, humanity, heroism. But they’re on a desert island, for goodness sake. I wondered why no one was praying.

I felt the same way about Cast Away with Tom Hanks. Although a great movie, the main character (stranded on an island for four years) never turns to a higher power, unless you call Wilson the volleyball his version of god.

And I ask myself, what would I do? I think I’d be praying every minute. And the first thing I’d look for in the wreckage would be my books—the Bible and Science and Health, which I always take with me on plane flights.

Anyway, even though I was enjoying Lost, that question was floating in my mind. Then I watched the episode that ends Disk 3—“Whatever the Case May Be.”

In a subplot they don’t even mention in the episode summary, young rock musician Charlie is dealing with the aftereffects of the trauma he went through the episode before. He’s clearly shellshocked, and most people leave him alone to deal with it. But the older black woman (whose name I forget, she’s a minor character) approaches him and gruffly makes him get moving.

As the episode ends, he comes to her by a campfire distraught and asking for help. And she says, I’m not the one who can help you. He sits beside her weeping, and she puts her hand on his back and begins to pray gently, out loud, to the Heavenly Father. It’s a simple prayer of gratitude along the lines of, Father, we thank thee for your great goodness. We leave them sitting together praying.

And I have to admit I wept as well. To me, that’s true. In a crowd of 46 people stranded on an island, I know that most of them would be turning to prayer, perhaps secretly at first but then together. I know I would.

I love fiction because it helps us see fact more clearly. In learning about made-up characters, I explore my own character.

If you were on a desert island, what would you do?

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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