I came across this photo in my attempts to shake things up on my wallpaper. My first thoughts were “I love this movie and I really love this scene.” Seriously, I nearly teared up in the theatre. Pixar continues their tradition of creative characters and story telling that is simply second to none in the movie business. I don’t even need to know what the movie is about – they have earned my ticket, my respect, and my trust. I can only hope they never lose the qualities that make each film they produce a special event.
But all of those feelings were simply my initial thoughts. As I looked at the photo and examined it, I was struck with the details. The difficult thing about making a computer-animated film is that everything has to be created. Look at the incredible design and work that went into this one frame. Someone carefully crafted that house, its stonework, and its various plant life. Some one went through some painstaking work on the house in the background. The lighting is perfectly set to cast shadows from trees that aren’t even visible on the screen. But even that isn’t enough. The background is out of focus, allowing the viewer’s attention to be completely engrossed in the tender moment that is taking place. This gives it more realism, too, as real cameras do that sort of thing naturally.
It raises the question – why go through so much trouble designing all of this if no one is going to really notice it unless they do what I am doing now? Without all that detail, that moment does not impact our hearts the way it does. I mean, this scene has people crying over plastic play toys! This shouldn’t feel real. We shouldn’t be so affected. But because Pixar is about excellence in every part of the process of filmmaking, the details give this scene the life and heartbeat it needs to impact ours.
In some extremely small way, this one frame is a microcosm of what God our Creator does. He is an amazing storyteller. He has written a most wonderful one, even though we have not had the pleasure of viewing every scene yet. He is every bit as much about the big picture as He is the small details. The big picture – it all revolves around the Lord Jesus Christ. He is at the center of it all and rightly so. God has given Him the name above every name. We see Him in Scripture as we examine His birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and return. No one and nothing in Scripture is more in focus than Him. But God was concerned with the little details, too. He allowed the Greeks to spread their culture and language throughout the world. He gave the Romans the ingenuity to create roads for better travel throughout their empire. When the message of Jesus Christ went out, it spread quickly across the world in a language that most were familiar with.
I find this an encouraging thought, because quite honestly, I see myself as a little detail. The world of Christendom will not shake or struggle to continue if I meet my last day tomorrow. I am most certainly expendable – there is nothing I do at camp or church that someone else can’t do. I don’t write those things out of humility – I struggle as much with pride as the next person. But even if I am a little detail, I am not that way to God. He died for my sin just as He did for Abraham. He saved me just as He saved Peter from the waves. He yearns for my love just as He yearned for Jacob’s. He desires my faith to grow just as much as Gideon’s. I am in no way inferior to any of all the saints of all of history. God gives extraordinary attention to detail, to His story of love, to a sinner such as I.
Quite a bit to gather from a scene with Woody and Buzz Lightyear, huh?