For Christians and Jews it was a spiritual week. Passover and Easter were celebrated with family. Everyone knew it was ‘that time of year’ because ‘The Ten Commandments’ with Charlton Heston was on TV. And ‘The Bible’ was on History Channel. It was a time to be reminded of both God’s power and God’s love.
It was also a week that a faith based movie ‘Heaven is for Real’ climbed to number 2 in the box office. It looks like it will surpass even Johnny Depp! It is the true story of 4 year old Colton, son of a pastor in Nebraska, who said he saw Heaven during emergency surgery.
I saw the film yesterday and was glad to see a film that for once a movie did not make fun of faith. It took it seriously and was respectful of the importance the belief in God has in so many of our lives. These were real people trying to live a good and honorable life. They were not perfect, but tried to be there for each other in difficult times. Townspeople prayed for the 4 year old Colton as he was on the operating table. The Pastor struggled with his anger towards God knowing his son might die.
For a long time both TV and movies have not shown religious people as well rounded and normal. The audience in America is made of 85 % believers in God. The people who create the shows and movies don’t get it. The movie’ Noah’ made it seem that God was angry at humans because of the way they treated the earth! In the Bible, God was angry because of the way we treated each other!
The only character on a present day TV series that I know of that is religious and open minded and loving is Abby on NCIS. A forensic scientist who goes to church regularly and is in a Bowling League with nuns. Abby is open and loving to everyone. NCIS is the number one scripted series on TV!
In my novel ‘ Hand of Fatima’ I created several characters who were religious both Christians and Jews. It was important to me to show that in a time of crisis they looked to God for comfort and strength. They all looked to Psalm 146 ‘Don’t put your trust in princes……’
I highly recommend ‘Heaven is for Real’ not to convert you, but to be with Colton and his family, church and community. You will recognize the struggle of many people to come to grips with what life throws at us. And how normal it is for most of us to look to God and believe. Maybe Hollywood will finally believe!
Myrna Sokoloff is the author of ‘Hand of Fatima’ a political thriller about terrorism on Amazon.com