I finished reading this book several weeks ago and simply can't get it out of my mind. By far one of the most impacting books I've ever read....
I keep asking myself - what gave Louie Zamperini and all those other POW's the mental tenacity to want to survive, first the agonizing 47 days of drifting at sea, then suffering two years of disease, exposure, starvation, and near-daily beatings from guards?
I'm afraid I would have been like McNamara, the other guy in the raft who understandably cracked under the stress and gave up the will to live.
And, how in the world did their physical bodies survive such assaults? Such horrendous circumstances? Such dietary horrors? I can't sleep unless I'm in my own bed with my favorite pillow, and I need my bi-weekly visit to the massage therapist and chiropractor just to maintain a semi-normal life. I'm such a wimp when I consider what they endured....
we ask I ask, "Where was God in my dark hour?" "Why did He allow such horror or suffering?" "Why, oh why, didn't He intervene when He certainly has the power to do so?" But, maybe we're asking, maybe I'm asking the wrong questions? Instead, maybe I need to look at what God saved me from. What my life would have looked like had God not intervened.
At the 1949 Los Angeles Billy Graham crusade that would change Louie's life forever, Graham spoke the words, "... God says, 'If you suffer, I'll give you the grace to go forward.'" And He did. Oh how He did!
Louie's "conviction that everything happened for a reason, and would come to good" would serve him well. It allowed him to remain "infectiously, incorrigibly cheerful".
I want to train myself to be like him.
PS - I read this book with the intention of wanting to read the book prior to seeing the movie. However, my understanding is that the climatic final chapters of the book of Louie's conversion and spiritual rescue aren't even included in the movie. If that's missing from the movie, I don't see any need to see it....