A few weeks ago, one of our "sons in the faith" sent a letter to The Brazil Times which appeared as a letter to the editor under the heading "Christian-Based Movie's Message Encouraging".
The writer of this letter, an admitted "offender," has been at Putnamville Correctional Facility for a while now, and I have been "pen-pal-ing" him for a little longer. In the published letter he writes, among other things:
"We are currently wrapping up a study based on the movie, "Courageous." An awesome Christian based film.
"It's all about becoming a better man, a better father, son, brother and leader.
"A man who does what's right by God's standards and not societies...and it's about passing that high standard down to our kids and families.
"It's a powerful movie and study, which made me cry several times."
Naturally, this got Kay and I interested in the movie. I was surprised to find it both available and to be considered a "hot movie".
The movie, unabashedly Christian faith based, is described:
"Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, David Thomson, and Shane Fuller are confident and focused.
"Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood.
"While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they're quickly discovering that their standard is missing the mark.
"When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Can a newfound urgency help these dads draw closer to God ... and to their children?
Two things stood out as we watched this movie: First, a lot of its message was not new to us, but each generation needs these lessons. Also, there is no Christian message less popular than that the man of the family should be the man of the family and its spiritual leader.
It left me pondering several things about myself, the successes and failures in rearing our children, and the situation of our son in the faith.
As to my pen pal, he is struggling to be a Christian and a witness to the Faith in a place that Dante might well have labeled the first level of hell -- prison. In his various letters and in our visits we are continually surprised at his descriptions of life on "the farm". Drugs are an on-going problem, weapons readily available, and temptation rampant. And, most critically, his witness of Christ is well known to those who respect his stand, as well as to those who would do harm to the Way of Christ.
Few of we American church-folk stand up long enough to be ridiculed, fewer still are they who face outright violence for their stand for Christ. I think my boy at the farm may be the most courageous man I've met in a very long time.
At this time when we're being reminded of heroes, Kay and I recommend seeing "Courageous." It is a Christian-Based movie whose message is most certainly Encouraging.