What if someone rewrote the story of Little Red Riding Hood from the point-of-view of the grandmother? Or how about the wolf? Might be a very different tale.
God is sometimes known to orchestrate those kinds of shifts—putting us in someone else’s head—through a movie, a book, or even a conversation.
In 1998, two movies released within four months of each other, and both deeply impacted me.
The first one, Hope Floats, is a romantic drama about an unassuming housewife named Birdee, whose life completely crumbles when her husband reveals his infidelity in a very public way. Humiliated, she returns to her mother’s home to figure out her life.
The second movie, One True Thing, is a story of a young career woman named Ellen, who goes back to her childhood home to care for her ailing mother. Ellen idealizes her father, a celebrated novelist and professor. However, she barely conceals her distain for her mother, minimizing her as a shallow ditzy homemaker. Over the course of Ellen’s stay, she reconsiders her views. Her admiration shifts to her mother—a longsuffering wife with a philandering egocentric husband. The reversal turns into a crisis for her, because her mother is dying from cancer.
Both Birdee and Ellen reel under the pain of broken dreams. Life turned out so differently than they thought. The truth is, you can’t be human very long without experiencing some kind of heartache. I felt their strong inner conflicts. My own losses surfaced, and I wept bitterly.
Several years later, both movies were on the same TV channel back-to-back one afternoon. Was it odd, or was it God?
I decided to watch them again. However, this time something remarkable happened…Continue reading