From Jim Gilliam's blog archives

August 11, 2002 10:45 AM

I saw Signs the other day. As with the other M. Night Shyamalan flicks, this one was not at all what I expected. If you haven't seen it, and intend to, you should probably stop reading now since I'm going to give away the entire movie.

It's basically a movie about the existence of God. The protagonist is a priest whose wife died 6 months prior causing him to give up on God. All the crop circles and aliens do is serve as a backdrop to tell the story of a coincidence. A coincidence so amazing, that the priest returns to God realizing that his wife's death was critical in saving the life of his son.

This is a pretty powerful story. I actually cried at the end when I realized what was about to happen. And just as the filmmaker wanted me to, I thought about it afterward. I thought about the bad stuff in my life and how there are so many good things that never would have happened without those bad things happening first. Does that give meaning to the bad things? No, not at all. Shit just happens.

As I left I thought about the billions of other people who experienced the same alien invasion whose stories weren't told. The only one that got made into a big hollywood movie was the one with the big coincidence. Then I realized it was just a movie and none of it happened at all. :-) Like I said, it was a pretty powerful movie.

But still, that premise is the foundation for the entire universe. Yeah, it's pretty amazing that the universe sprung up out of nothing. But given an infinite timetable, isn't it something that could just happen every once in awhile? And yeah, it's pretty amazing that intelligent life developed on this planet. But given the millions or billions or however many planets there are, it's bound to happen once or twice, right?

And that is what Lisa Belkin explains in this New York Times magazine article on coincidences.

More from the archive in Religion.

Signs (08.11.2002)

Next Entry: 2 Million (08.12.2002)
Previous Entry: Oily Iraq (07.31.2002)

Jim Gilliam
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