Soraya. I have not been able to get her out of my mind. Her story haunts me. Would I watch the movie again? No. Was it worth watching? Yes. Her life was worth it. She was worth it.
The movie - The Stoning of Soraya. It portrays the true story of a woman living in rural Iran. She was falsely accused of adultery by her husband. Why? He wanted to marry a younger woman. How young? 14! It did not matter that his wife had given birth to 2 daughters and 2 sons. It did not matter that she was faithful. No, he was influential and driven by lust. The penalty for adultery - stoning to death. It was his way out of the marriage. The participants in the stoning - every man in the village, including her father, husband and sons.
I had read that stoning was still occasionally practiced in other countries but it is so easy to bury your head in the sand. It is so easy to avoid visualizing such an act. It is so easy to push away thoughts about the very real, physical and emotional pain a woman must experience as she is stoned to death. What would an innocent woman think about in the hour before her stoning? How would it feel to receive the first blow of a small rock hurled at you in the same way a baseball player throws a pitch? How long would it take to die? So many questions. Sometimes I dislike pondering.
Yes, Soraya's life deserves more. She deserves for others to know about the injustice. She deserves the opportunity to make a difference. So, if you have the courage, watch.
Now, did I struggle with God as I was trying to fall asleep after watching this movie? Yes! I started by praying, "God you saw this. I just watched a movie depicting this event but You were right there. You saw that innocent woman go through a brutal death. When will you say "Enough" and send Jesus for His bride?" Then I remembered. Soraya mattered to God. He created her for relationship with Him. But God loves those men, too. His heart must have broken over their brokenness, the many lies they had believed, the culture that taught them ways that were in total opposition to God's ways. Those men who believed the false accusations and participated by throwing a stone would one day realize that it had all been a sham. They had killed an innocent woman - their kind neighbor, their daughter, their mother. They would live with that knowledge the rest of their lives.
How interesting that an Iranian journalist living in Paris would just happen to be on assignment in that rural area when his car would break down. It was there that Soraya's aunt told him the story. And he took the story to the world in the form of written word. Yes, I think God was involved. I think He was a part of making sure the world would remember Soraya. There are so many spiritual messages to be found in this film - Ephesians 4:17-19, Ephesians 5:11, 2 Peter 3:8-18 and of course, John 3:16. Oh, I could record others.
Soraya. May your story change lives for the better.