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“All for One, One for All!” cried the child as he swung the wooden rapier, parrying and riposting against his enemy. Have you ever truly thought what this saying means as it rolls off our tongue?
On New Year’s Day, I finally caved to the phenomenon that is Netflix. While scrolling through the umpteen number of choices, my eyes caught the BBC Television series The Musketeers. Who doesn’t love a good swashbuckling story. And if it’s based on Alexandre Dumas’s novel, all the better. I thought, why not?
Why not, indeed!! I was hooked. Each episode is filmed almost like a mini-movie. The cinematography is brilliant, and the scripts draw you into the story. Fight sequences are dances of power and finesse, and the flashes of steel instill the heightened awareness of danger. I raved about this show to my fellow “geeks” and the gauntlet was thrown. Why not write about what this series means to me as both a geek and a Christian?
Challenge accepted… En Guard!
In the first episode of The Musketeers, we are introduced to each character. We meet Athos, the leader among men, Porthos, the warrior, Aramis, the self-proclaimed romantic hero, and D’Artagnan, the young up-start out to prove himself. Each man is beautifully flawed. Through the actor’s nuanced portrayals during the exquisitely choreographed fight sequences, we glimpse into and draw on these characteristics and see how they make a well-rounded, yet intriguing person. It is where we begin to engage in their strengths and weaknesses that we see the foundation their characters are built upon.
Athos (Tom Burke) mourns the loss of his wife, a woman who he gave everything to and was betrayed by. He cannot get rid of her memory and is tortured, sullen and aloof. However, he commands respect and honor from his men. He leads by example while battling the inner demons of unworthiness. Athos fights with elegant grace, honour, and military etiquette.
Porthos (Howard Charles) is a product of his upbringing, living in the slums and working his way out. The Musketeers are his adopted family. Porthos has fought for everything that he has. His strength comes from having nothing to lose. Porthos fights with passion, with no rules, brute force, and cunning glee.
Aramis (Santiago Cabrera: Heroes, Merlin) is the romantic, yet deadly, hero. Many aspects of his life are in constant conflict with his chosen profession. He loves women and cherishes them to a fault. His kindness and open heart is both his best strength and weakness. He is an artist with the sword. Yet he experiences guilt after killing, because it is in direct conflict with his belief in a loving God.
D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino: Snowpiercer, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Crome) is young, bold and headstrong. He jumps into all situations with youthful energy and naiveté. He fights with skill, but lacks the lustre of practice and experience. He has yet to learn from the wise, but that will come with experience.
How beautifully flawed they each are, and yet they demonstrate together that there is strength in weakness. “All for One, One for All” is the motto of the Musketeers. Each one has their place and combined they are an unstoppable force. The strength of one makes up for the weakness of another, and we watch as they work together to solve the conflicts that arise.
But what does the motto “All for One, One for All” mean to us?
It reminds me that we all have beautiful flaws too. If we were all the same, it would be so boring. Like Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, everyone brings different gifts to the table. We all have a different role to play, but together we can be an unstoppable force for our God. We are “All for One, One for All.”
If we were all the romantic hero, we would never have the clarity to see some of the danger that lies ahead. If we were all the leaders of men, we would not have the kind heart to care for and uphold the weak. If we were all warriors, we wouldn’t have the wisdom to take a step back and look at the big picture.
Cardinal Richelieu (Peter Capaldi: Dr. Who), the “frienemy” of the Musketeers, reminds me of how Satan can work in our lives. He is cunning and plays both sides for his own personal and political gain. He hides behind the church, knows the bible, and twists the truth to his advantage. He lulls the Muskateers into a sense of security, but is coiled to strike at any moment.
As a community, we can be on our guard for those who tell lies. We care for each other and fight together against an invisible enemy.
Our unique gifts and helping each other through weaknesses are what makes us strong. I hope to continue to live “All for ONE, One for all.”