Wearily, Donovan crouches to sit next to Abel. He has just returned from protesting that the evidence to be used against Abel was obtained without a warrant and therefore should be disregarded. The judge denies the appeal, stating that as Abel is a suspected Russian spy, an illegal immigrant and a threat to the American way of life, he is not entitled to any rights.
ABEL: How did we do?
DONOVAN: In there? (pauses) Not too good. Apparently you’re not an American citizen.
ABEL: That’s true.
He dabs at his nose with his handkerchief.
DONOVAN: And according to your boss, you’re not a Soviet citizen either.
ABEL: Well…The boss isn’t always right but he’s always the boss.
Donovan looks at him.
DONOVAN: Do you never worry?
ABEL (shrugs): Would it help?
Bridge of Spies
I love this scene. Abel - imprisoned and about to be convicted as a Russian spy in the United States - faces the very real possibility of a death sentence. And his response to whether he is worried about the prospect - “Would it help?”
My goodness. What an excellent question.
No man is stranger to the imposter fear - I feel it rise inside me every day.
Worried, anxious, stressed and afraid. Will I make it on time? What if it rains on my washing? Is that a flu sniffle I hear? What if they don’t like me? Have I offended them? What if God’s not big enough or what if He forgets?
But has it ever helped? I grip fierce onto my fear, feeling a weakly false sense of control in the stress. Yet I wonder, has my worry or anxiety ever added or contributed anything to any situation? What if I’ve been robbed all along - blinded by fear, “just a lie running out of breath”?
Do not be afraid - I am with you.
God speaks truth and my heart knows peace. But how quick I am to lend an ear to fear! Choosing not to listen and instead let worry fill my heart. And I am robbed.
I don’t see the moment’s beauty as I’m caught up in fear about the next. I don’t see the sun setting brilliantly in the western sky as I rush about my unfinished task. I don’t see the look in her young eyes, longing for someone to play with, because I’m stressed about dinner burning or getting out the door on time. I forget God’s voice promising provision as I worry about what I have now. I don’t see and I do forget.
I’ve been realising that worry hasn’t made me more efficient, nor fear more confident, nor stress more wealthy or successful. They haven’t helped.
I have not given you a spirit of fear.
He gently reminds me that with every feeling comes next a choice. Will I choose to submit to this emotion and let it rule in me? Or, holding it up to the truth He speaks, do I reject this feeling as an imposter?
Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
My choice. Your choice. Will you worry? Would it help?