Power of the Word: The Book Thief

Last year leading up to the Oscars, I wrote a three-part blog series on Les Miserables (links below). It was the only movie I knew anything about as I typically don’t go to the theater.

This year is a different story- over the past two months I have seen more movies than in the last few years combined. So with Hollywood’s big night just a month away, I have decided through February to use themes and charcters from the following recent films: The Book Thief, Lone Survivor, Philamena, August: Osage County and Twelve Years a Slave, as a springboard to seeing with redemptive lenses.

th-1I am kicking off with The Book Thief, a show I had wanted to see since my sophomore is currently reading Markus Zusak’s book for which the film originated. While not a true story, it realistically portrays life in Nazi Germany. The main character, Liesel, is living with a foster family who takes in and hides a Jewish friend’s son, Max. Not to be discoverd by anyone, Max must stay hidden in the cellar, where it is dark and dreary.

Cold winter days depress me, so living day in and day out hidden below ground with no sunlight, no exercise and very little human contact sounds suffocating. As is his reality, the interaction and friendship with Liesel becomes his life line.

So he can tangibly experience what he is missing, on one occassion she thoughtfully brings snow down to the basement to build a snowman inside.


But, my favorites scene is even simpler found joy than this…

Max asks Liesel to describe the weather that day.“It’s cloudy” she says. He pushes her though to use words to paint the picture…

“If your eyes could speak, what would they say?”

As her words come alive, “the sun like a grey oyster pearl hiding behind the clouds“, he begins to smile.  He is transported to another place in time by imagining just what that is like.  For even a moment his circumstances were eclipsed by the joy in “seeing” what she described.


The power of words is a major theme throughout the story, serving as the source of hope and strength for both Max and Liesel during the bleakness of the war. We too need a word that speaks life in to our sinful broken world. A Word that can bring us joy and transport us to another place. A Word that gives us eyes to see. A Word that brings light to dark.

That Word is Christ.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5

That Word is the sole source of the hope and strength we seek. That Word spoken in to our lives is transforming truth and grace. That Word powerfully paints the picture of who He is for us as… 

the Sacrificial Lamb…the First-born King…the better Moses…the second Adam…the Bread of Life…the Light of the World…the Good Shepherd…the True Vine.

Feed on those words. See His radiant glory as your Savior King. Anything less ruling and reigning your heart is a Glory Thief of the One True Word.


Come back to the HouseofHatton over the course of this month to read more based off the listed movies. Links to last year’s Les Mis blog spots here: Les Mis Law vs GraceTo Love Another Person Is To See The Face Of God and Who Am I? No Longer 24601

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4 thoughts on “Power of the Word: The Book Thief

  1. Pingback: A Picture of Pashtunwali More Perfect than in The Lone Survivor | house of hatton

  2. Pingback: Depths of Dysfunction – August: Osage County | house of hatton

  3. Pingback: Pharisees to Philamena | house of hatton

  4. Pingback: The Ultimate Injustice: 12 Years A Slave | house of hatton

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