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What “Everything Everywhere All At Once” Can Teach Us About Spiritual Gifts

April 27, 2022

You may have heard lots of chatter and discussion around this movie. It’s likely to be the strangest, weirdest, most insane movie you’ve ever seen, but at the same time, it’s scoring a surprisingly high 97% on Rotten Tomatoes?!

This juxtaposition has caused many to flock to theaters to see what all the commotion is about, (Note: Everything Everywhere All At Once is not available on any streaming services yet) and fans are leaving the theater questioning their own existence, their family, and their own lives.

If you haven’t heard of the movie at all, here is a trailer to give you an idea of what we’re dealing with here:

From this point on, we will be discussing SPOILERS, so if you plan on seeing the movie, I highly recommend waiting until after you’ve seen the film to continue reading.

Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) is a struggling laundromat owner, about to be audited by the IRS when her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) out of nowhere tells her that she’s in danger of an evil force nobody could have predicted. Evelyn slowly learns that she is the only hope for a multiverse full of different versions of herself and her family, and must protect them.

I’m not going to try and explain anything else in the plot other than the fact that Evelyn can now access other version of herself and channel their abilities, talents, emotions, and other skills to use against this “evil force”.

The movie is a deep dive into the philosophical reasoning of “Why are we here”, and “If everything out there is infinite, then what’s the point?”

Since Evelyn is able to see and access other versions of herself, we see a heartbreaking yet funny scene where she tells her husband how amazing her life would be without him. She sees herself as a martial arts celebrity about to walk into a movie premiere surrounded by paparazzi, as she sees one of the options had she never gotten together with her husband.

We also see alternate realities where Evelyn is a chef, sign spinner, scientist, even one where she has hot dog fingers. (If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about) It’s also sadly implied to Evelyn that her current “laundromat-owning” version of herself is the one where she reached the least potential.

One of the most incredible Biblical principles I saw throughout this is that every version of Evelyn had struggles, stressors, and tough times. No matter what decisions she made, she ended up always having something she was struggling with. This is particularly clear when we see “celebrity Evelyn” reconnecting with Waymond and wondering what could have been had she chosen to be with him.

However, in all of these “realities”, even the ones that seem sad and grim, Evelyn has things that were helpful, useful and positive that she may not have realized while in those realities. Evelyn uses her advanced lung capacity as a singer to escape a smoke-filled room, she uses her sign spinning skills to use a shield to defeat enemies, and if a beautiful realization, she uses her husbands optimism and positivity to bring people together instead of causing more harm and pain. (She even realizes that in a strange world of hot dog fingers, she had incredible skills with her feet, which was able to save her yet again)

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

1 Peter 4:10

I’ve spoken to so many Christians who say they just feel useless, and that God blessed everyone else except them. Seemingly, God gave them “lesser gifts” when they see others out there using their athleticism, performance, or even hospitality to help others.

Sometimes, we need a change of perspective or someone else to remind us what makes us special and able to serve others in a unique way. Many versions of Evelyn never would have seen their “gifts” as anything special, just life experience they’ve acquired through doing what they do, but somewhere out there, another Evelyn needed that skill to escape a frightening situation.

If you feel helpless, hopeless, and without any particular skill, please know that I mean this lovingly: You are 100% wrong.

You have skills and talents that are unique and God-given to you that nobody else can match, and if you’re reading this still wondering what those are, I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone a little and ask those around you. Have you taken a moment to ask your family, friends, or mentors about what they see in you that makes you different from anyone else?

Like Evelyn, sometimes our perspective can be so one-dimensional that we can completely fail to see the gifts in us that are changing lives.

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