The funny song, the Hokey Pokey, asks us, “Is that what’s life is all about?” I say a resounding NO! Forgiveness, that’s what it is all about, and the 2022 movie, The Ravine, hammers that point home.
We stumbled upon the movie while searching Amazon Prime. We read it was a true story of a murder, and we decided to watch it. Little did we know what we were in for! This is a heavy story, folks, but we all need its message.
A tight group of friends are shocked when Danny Turner brutally kills his wife and son. He then takes his own life by driving over the cliff into the ravine, thus the name of the movie. This rocks the small community, and the movie shows how each person close to Danny responds.
Danny was a normal, average, fun-loving guy who adored his family and friends…at least from the surface. I won’t go into details, but the story will take you backwards a bit to gain insight into the “real” Danny, who is consumed by darkness. No one knew or ever suspected.
Without judgement, the movie addresses the anger and unforgiveness surrounding this horrific event. A woman by the name of Joanna is instrumental in helping everyone heal. You have to make up your own mind, but I believe she was an angel! She definitely connected to the Holy Spirit and prayed to God vehemently. In fact, her prayers saved Danny’s other child. He was spared because she asked God to protect him.
This isn’t an entertaining movie. It is complicated, complex, and emotional. Yet, I encourage you to see it. What everyone had to learn to move on was to forgive Danny. By holding on to their anger, each person started to spiral into their own darkness like a contagious disease!
Joanna shares the difficult truth: God has forgiven Danny, and so has his family. Here’s the crux of the entire film: You cannot have freedom with anger and unforgiveness. This simply creates more darkness.
Whew. What darkness are we allowing to creep in and consume us? This movie illustrates how quickly darkness can take over. None of us are immune. If we want freedom and peace, we have to let go of unforgiveness…all of it. We need to release the hurt, pain, frustration, and disappointment others caused us. We might even need to forgive ourselves for failures and mistakes we’ve made.
Holding on to anger doesn’t change what happened to you, but it will negatively change you moving forward. Bitterness will take root, and the darkness begins. This makes me wonder about all the increased violence in our world today. Hurt people, hurt people. How do we help others let go and forgive? We must first forgive them ourselves.
When we don’t forgive, we create a huge divide—a ravine—between us and peace. Forgiveness is impossible without God the Father loving us, God the Son showing us, and God the Holy Spirit guiding us. I have some excellent exercises for those who have held on tightly to their hurts. If you would like some freedom from the pains weighing you down, give me a call! We can work on this together. God wants His people free!