MOVIES: 'This isn't my forever'
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP) -- "I wasn't looking forward to seeing that movie, but I'm sure glad I did." Have you ever said that to yourself?
Granted, movies dealing with sorrow may not be your first choice for weekend entertainment. But two new films -- "The Long Goodbye: The Kara Tippetts Story" and "Breakthrough" -- along with the five-part "Healing the Healers" interview series encourage and enlighten as they deal with overcoming death, tragedy and personal struggles.
If you see them, I think you'll be glad you did.
The Long Goodbye: The Kara Tippetts Story
This documentary about a courageous and devout woman facing her own death isn't just about someone struggling with the debilitating effects of cancer. Rather, it's a revealing memoir of a person of faith who assures, "This isn't my forever."
Kara was a 38-year-old pastor's wife and mother of four. In her free time she began a "mommy blog," as she referred to it, titled "Mundane Faithfulness." Not long afterward, Kara learned she had terminal breast cancer.
During her fight for life, Kara felt led to relate her story to her "bloggees," unknowingly impacting thousands around the world by sharing her inspirational views on life and her walk with Jesus.
In the midst of this electronic age that often numbs us against things eternal, accounts such as Kara Tippetts' remind us that faith in Jesus constructs our character and sees us through. True believers like Kara joyously declare from deep within, I know that I know that I know.
The Long Goodbye: The Kara Tippetts Story is distributed through Ocean Avenue Entertainment and is available on DVD and digital. For more information, visit: http://karatippettsdocumentary.com/
Based on true events, this film tells the story of Joyce Smith (Chrissy Metz) whose 14-year-old son fell through an icy Missouri lake to what appeared to be his death.
Nearly an hour after the boy was pronounced dead, the doctors discovered a faint pulse. In the face of every bleak medical prediction, Joyce maintained an unwavering faith.
While the story deals with miraculous events, it's just as much about healing relationships and submitting to God's will.
It's sometimes difficult to watch the protagonist go through fear and frustration, but ultimately, her example of faith ministers to others in the story -- and to us. She knows that our God, who cares for the little sparrows, is in the details of our lives.
From Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Breakthrough is available on DVD and Blu-ray, rated PG for thematic content including peril and a couple of expletives, but I caught no misuse of God's name.
Healing the Healers
This five-part documentary series features pastors and other faith leaders who cope with personal struggles through traumatic events.
Rev. Matthew Crebbin of Newtown Congregational Church in Newtown, Ct., leads the conversations with fellow ministers who detail their congregations' experiences following mass shootings and chronic neighborhood violence.
Such tragedies take their toll, not just on the parishioners, but on the pastors as well. Often there is no easy fix for these men of God. But they eventually learn that conversing about emotional wounds is the first step toward healing.
You may be thinking, "I'm not a minister. How can this series benefit me?" Well, first of all, you are a minister. You may not have a congregation, but if you are a child of God, you are therefore a minister to others.
And second, this docu-series instructs us on how to show sensitivity toward our spiritual leaders. What's more, the half-hour installments give followers of Christ insights and solid suggestions as to how we can manage our own calamities.
Healing the Healers is available at https://healingthehealers.org.
The takeaway from films like these is that there are reasons, known in heaven, for the inescapable adversities we face while on earth. And by studying both Bible Testaments, we can also conclude that we don't have to face distress alone.
Jesus said, "... In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NIV). And His Father said, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you: I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).
Well-produced and spiritually satisfying, these three productions show that although we now see through a glass darkly, as 1 Corinthians 13:12 puts it, we're not alone in the shadows. If you are facing adversities, remember Kara Tippetts' revelation, "This isn't my forever."