Two of my favorite spiritual movies are “Bruce Almighty” and “Evan Almighty.” I love message movies, especially when they are spiritual in nature.
In the first movie, Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) is a TV reporter who wants to become a news anchorman, except it seems like bad things keep happening to him and he can’t catch a break. He then takes out his frustrations on God (Morgan Freeman), and blames him for everything that’s been happening to him. To teach Bruce a lesson that God really does know what he’s doing, he offers Bruce his job, which Bruce joyfully accepts. But Bruce finds out just how hard that job is and he causes chaos everywhere. He again goes to God to find out what to do and God told him that there’s always a way to make things right. From there, Bruce started spreading random acts of kindness. Eventually, Bruce asks God to take his powers back, he then finds pleasure in his job and the little things in life, and…oh, yeah…he gets the girl.
“Evan Almighty” is a sequel that continues with Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), who had gotten the news anchor job that Bruce wanted. Evan is later elected to Congress and declares that he will change the world. He prays to God (Morgan Freeman) to allow him this opportunity to make a difference. His wife also prays that they, along with their three sons, would become closer as a family. Almost immediately, strange things began to happen such as gopher wood being delivered to his house, his hair and beard keeps growing really long, and pairs of animals start following him for no reason. He soon learns that he is to build an Ark as there was a huge flood coming. If people ask, he was to tell them what he was doing, and of course, everyone thought he was nuts. As soon as the Ark was built, a dam broke causing the valley to flood, but the people and animals were able to get on the Ark in time. Evan saves the town’s community, exposes corruption, and becomes closer to his family.
If you haven’t seen these movies, I would highly recommend doing so. Of course, there’s a lot more to these stories, but I think they will touch your hearts as they did mine. They teach us much about our beliefs and our faith. Since I saw these movies, Morgan Freeman has become my favorite ‘God.’ Whenever I picture God in human form, I see him as Mr. Freeman. Freeman’s God was kind, compassionate, and loving, which is what I believe God to be.
We all have our own beliefs about whom or what God is. Some believe he’s an old man sitting high in the sky, and most believe he’s out there somewhere. Then there are those who believe God is genderless, is a spirit or energy that is in everyone and everything, and we find God within. Personally, I believe the latter. The Bible says that we were made in God’s image, but it does not say what that image is. In order for we humans to relate to this deity, most have made God into a human being with man’s characteristics, emotions, and so on. But do we really know? Does it really matter? When it comes down to it, we all only have our experiences of God (the God of our understanding).
Then there are those who believe that only a particular religion has the one and true God. Can’t God be big enough to be in all religions? I totally believe this to be so.
I love how Frank Sinatra describes God in his song, “That's What God Looks Like to Me.” “One day as I walked with my son hand in hand, he said, there are things that I don't understand. How high is the sky? What makes it so blue? And tell me, dad, what does God look like to you? I said He looks like a rainbow, just after the rain. He's as golden as wheat dancing over the plain. He looks like the star when the night's crystal clear. He looks like a baby when mother is near. His face is the moonlight reflected on snow. His hair like a garden where all flowers grow. His heavenly eyes are as blue as the sea. My son, that's what God really looks like. His heart's like a mountain so vast and so strong. That's why all his children have room to belong. His smile is the morning we waken to see. But you, my son, you are what God really looks like to me.”
Or as I like to say, “If you want to see God’s face, look in the mirror.”
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen August 26, 2016.