My favorite moment in the film Speed is one that I don’t think would stand out to most people. But when you notice it, you might just realize how powerful it is. It’s not the scene where Jack Traven chases down a bus rigged to explode if it goes below 50 miles per hour. Nor is it when he’s barreling down the streets of Los Angeles, when he tries to defuse the bomb underneath the bus, or even when he has to jump the bus across a gap in the freeway. It actually comes right before the famous bus-jump scene, and it’s a quiet moment, not a long, complicated action sequence.
The scene in Speed I’m thinking of begins with a panicked police officer learning of a 50-foot gap in the freeway coming up, and there’s no exit or other way for the bus to avoid it. He relays that information to the police chief, whose first reaction is disbelief followed by fury. It’s a miracle that the bus has managed to get this far without exploding, and to be destroyed by an act of negligence outside of their control feels like a slap in the face. He yells that everyone is fired, and then he demands to talk to Jack, who’s on the bus.
My Favorite Moment
That’s not my favorite part, though. It comes a few seconds later when he speaks to Jack. He doesn’t shout or vent his frustration on Jack. He speaks calmly and rationally to him, like a father breaking the bad news to his family that he just lost his job. It’s important, and it’s going to affect them badly, but they are not the cause of the problem, so he has no reason to be angry at them.
I love that the police chief doesn’t include Jack in his condemnation. His sudden change in volume, tone, and demeanor says so much about the two characters’ relationship. Jack isn’t some expendable action hero to him. He’s more like a hardworking son. The chief has watched him struggle to save many innocent lives from on high in a helicopter. Now he’s come down to Jack’s level, only to find that he has to give him bad news and ask him to find a creative solution to the problem, if possible.
Why Is This My Favorite?
This scene spoke powerfully to me one night a few months ago. I was tired from a long night dealing with an unruly 3-year-old amid an excruciating case of arthritis in my hands. It didn’t help that I also felt tempted to make choices I knew to be wrong. That seems to happen often when we’re at our most vulnerable. I decided to pray to God to help me overcome my weaknesses and pain. In answer, that scene came to my mind so powerfully, I felt like I was being lifted up on the wings of angels. I felt the impression that God doesn’t condemn me for my weaknesses, and He will help me through my pain. He wouldn’t take them away, any more than the police chief could complete the bridge for Jack. Not because God is incapable of doing it, but because I have much to learn, and suffering a little now will help me immeasurably in the future.
Indeed, it was around that time that my younger sister reached out to me and introduced me to homeopathic healing. On her advice, I started taking a couple of natural anti-inflammatories (fish oil and Montmorency cherry concentrate), which have all but eradicated the arthritic pain, something my rheumatologist was never able to do with his prescriptions and Cortisone shots. I rarely think of taking pain medication anymore.
Opportunities for Learning
Everyone remembers the amazing scene that follows the quiet exchange between the police chief and Jack. It’s not every day you see a bus jump 50 feet over an uncompleted bridge. But, to me, the most impressive part of that scene comes right before that when a couple of good men are forced to deal with a horrible situation they can’t get out of. Their calm spirit of kindness to each other at the outset is reassuring.
God frequently speaks to me through movies. This particular scene gave me a small insight into the character of God. Much like how He didn’t spare His Only Begotten Son from suffering the pains and sins of all mankind, He won’t spare me from enduring my own suffering to gain much-needed experience and wisdom. Am I immune to mortal frailties? Am I better than the Savior who descended below all things? No.
I’m grateful for the chance to share my experiences with you so that you can learn to be wiser than I have been. That way, we all learn together.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
Both movie clips are the copyright of their owner.
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