Is it possible that there are no coincidences?
M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs is fascinating movie that has resonated with many Christians, myself included. Shyamalan as a writer interests me. I am curious as to his own beliefs. He obviously is very keen to religious statements and the motivations behind them. He has captured these notions very notably in Signs.
There’s a wonderful discourse in the film between brothers about the nature of life and tragedy and the absence or presence of God. For the elder brother (a disillusioned preacher), it basically comes down to a matter of perception. He paints the scenario to his younger brother who needs to hear some hope in a stressful time:
People break down into two groups when they experience something lucky. Group #1 sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group #2 sees it as… a happy turn of chance. I’m sure the people in group #2 are looking at those fourteen lights (in the sky) in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they’re on their own. And that fills them with fear.
But there’s a whole lot of people in group #1. When they see those fourteen lights, they’re looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever’s going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky?
So much of faith is perception. How much of our known universe will we ever really know? How many mysteries await us? Will we ever understand how it all works? Is the faith that we are not alone a mere hope in a utopian ending? I should hope not.