Film Friday: The Swimmers

The Swimmers is based on the true story of Syrian sisters Yusra and Sara Mardini who escaped their war-torn country on a journey that included a plane, trucks, buses, cars, a ferry and a long and dangerous voyage across the sea in a tiny, overcrowded dinghy. For part of that journey the sisters swam in the water, being trained athletes themselves. In fact Sara never let go of her dream to one day compete in the Olympics. A dream that drove her on in spite of all that was against her. It’s an extraordinary story of survival, dedication, and faithful friendship. It put me in mind of some epic biblical journeys too – the Israelites fleeing the dangers of Egypt, through the miraculous gateway in the Red Sea, and on into the days of provision in the desert. A group of people like any other, falling out, trusting, fearing, questioning, moving at different speeds. And also Ruth, with her extraordinary promise of friendship, courage, faith and devotion – ‘Where you go I will go, where you live I will live, where you die I will die, your God will be my God.’ Her mother-in-law Naomi may have felt abandoned, but God was with her, in the promise of her daughter-in-law, in the smile and companionship of Ruth.

And a few questions to chew on (or not) …
Thinking of this true story of Yusra and Sara, does it remind you of the harsh nature of life, or the possibility of hope in the midst of trouble? Do we let go of our dreams in the face of life’s realities? Do we talk to God much about our dreams? Do we consider that we may represent the presence of God to another person today? We sometimes think of life as a journey, and one that is not easy, how would you say it’s going for you at the moment?

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