My Latest Read: American Sniper

Blog Post 43 American Sniper Marion Doss

Photo courtesy of Marion Doss and

As a writer, I read mainly fiction, but I do add non-fiction into the mix on occasion, especially when it pertains to my writing.  I also watch movies and television shows as part of my research.  In January, a friend, my husband, and I went and saw American Sniper.  Normally, once I see a movie or watch a television show, I may talk about it for the first hour or so afterwards.  Then I go on about my business.

Not so with American Sniper.  After seeing the movie, I wound up ordering the book.  Though I finished it over three weeks ago, I haven’t stopped pondering it.

I think why this is so crystallized for me this past weekend.  I went to a writers’ retreat along the Carolina coast.  Amidst free time to write, fellowship, and worship, we also had teaching.  One of the main thrusts of the weekend was authenticity, of exploring the broken places, being real, and counting the costs, which can be high, of pushing forward and glorifying God through our writing.

One of the instructors talked about how she’d bought an alabaster jar when she travelled to Egypt years ago.  Only when she held it up and shone a light inside did she realize the cracks in it.  Why?  Light streamed forth through those cracks.  The point of the lesson?  God uses those who admit that they are broken people.  Only then will His light stream forth from the cracks in our lives, the broken places.

I think in American Sniper, Chris Kyle made it very clear that four back-to-back tours in highly hazardous areas as well as training in between deployments affected him.  Each kill he made most likely took a part of him and added cracks to his soul.  And the stress of being away strained his marriage.  From her own point of view, Taya Kyle confirmed this and how they struggled and fought for their marriage.

Chris was a broken man, and he knew it.  He’d paid the costs of the kills he made, even though he knew it had to be done.  He knew he wasn’t perfect, and in the last chapter of the book, he confessed that the only way he could stand before God was because of Jesus.  Yet God’s light began spilling through the cracks of that broken man.  He impacted those around him, his friends, his family, other vets, and even those like me who didn’t know him.  He was authentic.

We’ll never know why God chose to call Chris home on February 2, 2013.  I’m sure He had His reasons.  But one thing I do know is that Chris still continues to influence people, not only through American Sniper, but also through those whose lives he touched: his wife, his children, his extended family, his friends, fellow vets.

Even a writer who struggles and has her own craving to be authentic.

I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Get in on the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

No Comments