Russell Minick Leave a Comment

A scene from the movie: Braveheart

The defiant Scotsman, William Wallace (Mel Gibson) is being tortured to call out for mercy from the cruel regime of Longshanks…

Royal Magistrate: (leaning over to whisper to William) It can all end, right now. Peace. Bliss. Just say it. Cry out mercy.

(In the crowd, Hamish and Stephen are suffering along with William, while around them the women start chanting “mercy.” Longshanks and the Prince wait inside the castle. Robert the Bruce leans against a parapet of Edinburgh castle, suffering. A tear falls down Isabella’s cheek.)

Royal Magistrate: (still bent over Wallace) Cry out. Just say it. Mercy.

Hamish: Mercy, William, mercy.

Stephen: Jesus, just say it.

Royal Magistrate: (to the crowd) The prisoner wishes to say a word.

William: (after much struggle, shouting with all his might) FREEDOM!

To William Wallace, there is no need to call out for mercy from evil; for they have none. For him, mercy was found in Christ, and now he follows Christ in choosing to die for what is right rather than live for what is wrong. The seduction of compromise, of passing comfort and lightness of commitment, fails with those who surrender to God. His mercy is their strength as they abide in the meaning of life. To those who watch, not knowing the essence of such conviction, it is a troubling sight. But history looks back kindly on those who chose wisely. Their investment in right, whether observed in history or not, will not be lost.


In the year of our Lord 1314, patriots of Scotland, starving and outnumbered, charged the fields at Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Scotsmen. And won their freedom.

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