I’m Glad Hollywood Took a Chance on “Miracles From Heaven”

Do you remember when it was that you knew God was real? Do you remember knowing everything you learned about your Catholic faith was the real deal? Maybe it happened when you lost someone or when you experience a difficult time and came away a stronger person. Or maybe it was due to an illness. Or then again, maybe you just knew all along.

For Jennifer Garner, the star of the Christian-based movie “Miracles from Heaven” (opening on March 16th in theaters across the country), it came to light by starring in this film based on the true story about a young girl from Texas, Annabel Beam.

Annabel was cured from a chronic digestive disorder after falling three stories from a tree, which initially appeared to be fatal. Garner plays Christy Beam, Annabel’s mother in the movie. Jennifer said she was captivated by Christy’s memoir.

Jennifer attends Christ Church United Methodist in West Virginia where her children—Violet, Seraphina and Samuel—were baptized. They also attend a Methodist church in Los Angeles as a family. “There was something about doing this film and talking to my kids about it and realizing that they were looking for the structure of church every Sunday.” Garner also said, “It was a great gift of this film that it took us back to finding our local Methodist church and going every Sunday.”

In the story, Annabel confides to her mother, “He told me I was going to be OK.” Christy looked at her puzzled. “Who told you?” Annabel was assured by Jesus she was going to be fine.

Jennifer says that even today, she finds this part of the film touching, and it brings her to tears.

There are many people who have had near-death experiences who talk about spending time in heaven. It happened to my own mother, Dorothy, a year before she died. My brother worked at the hospital where she was being treated. At three o'clock in the morning he went to her room to check on her and noticed she was slightly elevated from her bed surrounded by this remarkable bright light. He panicked and told the nurses it was a code blue. Fortunately for us, they were able to revive her. She later told us the story about this amazing experience of seeing Jesus and talking to Him. She said:

There is no reason to ever fear death. You are surrounded by perfect love and peace. I’m 81 and I felt like I could dance again. I had no pain, no sorrows, just perfect peace. Think of the happiest moment in your life and multiply that by a billion and you have still not come close to what it feels like to be in the presence of Jesus.

There are so many signs of Jesus and the Holy Spirit when we open our eyes to God’s love. Because it’s Lent we are reminded about the Sacrifice that God gave us when His Son was crucified and died. But there is always the hope that comes from the Resurrection.

They chose Easter to play the movie “Miracles from Heaven.” I think the timing was appropriate. It always amazes me that Hollywood is always stunned about faith-based films doing well. Seriously? I’m so glad that they took a chance on this one. Not only was Jennifer Garner and her family influenced, but many other people will be too when watching the film.