By now, you know I love movies and always seem to find a lesson in even the darkest of themes. This weekend, though, I watched two uplifting, yet different movies, both of which had a common theme: community and healing.
The first is an obscure 2011 Australian movie called Red Dog, starring American Actor Josh Lucas. I highly recommend it for the entire family.
It is an Australian made, acted, produced, and filmed on location about the true 1970s story of a red dog. No one knows where he came from, but he hitches a ride to the town of Dampier with a couple. Dampier is a mining town and attracted mostly men and a few women from around the globe to make good money.
The conditions are hot and dirty, and everyone is out for themselves. With no sense of community, Dampier has a bad reputation of accommodating those the rest of the world rejects. As one person said, “Everyone here is running away from something.”
The movie is heartwarming and funny, and the story is told of Red Dog from all perspectives. You quickly learn that Red Dog brought people together and formed a community, and as the story unfolds, you see healing taking place. Wounds, hurts, and broken hearts are mended…through one very red dog. Every life is touched by the simple yet profound acts of love from a dog.
Compare that to the big-movie release, Jesus Revolution, starring Kelsey Grammer and Jonathon Roumie. This is yet another true story and shares the life of Greg Laurie and the shift of the church in the 70s.
A young man by the name of Lonnie Frisbee comes to Newport Beach, California, and confronts Pastor Chuck Smith to reach the new generation because, as Lonnie describes, “they are looking for love in all the wrong places.”
I didn’t realize this was Greg Laurie’s biography. I’ve been a fan for a very long time and had the honor of publishing Promise Keeper books and helping with that movement back in the day. Even if you aren’t familiar with the powerhouse Pastor, you will enjoy watching a movement sweep through the country: a love for Jesus.
Both movies use a character that comes out of no where and most likely has a questionable background. In both movies, the character brings a scattered group of people together with loving acts forming a community, and healing takes place. We aren’t talking about superficial healing but life-altering change.
What I got from both of them is if God can use a wild, red dog and a barefoot, dirty hippie to make a huge difference in people’s lives, He can use you and me. Red Dog was a free, independent dog yet you get a sense he was called to Dampier for a reason.
Greg Laurie didn’t go to college to become a pastor; he was called. He was all in and continues to give all his heart. Both Red Dog and Greg Laurie responded to the call and because of them, many lives were never the same.
Red Dog is an Australian legend, and they eventually erected a statue of him in the bleak town of Dampier. Greg Laurie has gone on to preach to thousands and write countless books, all bringing people home to Jesus.
Both movies will inspire you to do your part. No excuses of not being experienced or educated. God uses us right where we are with what we have. I’m praying Jesus Revolution ignites a fire once again for revival in our country…that we can turn our hearts to Jesus, repent, and accept the incredible gift He offers us.
I also pray we are ready. Just like traditional Christians in the 70s, I fear we will have closed hearts and church doors to “different.” Rules and rituals make people feel comfortable, and as Pastor Chuck said to his church board, “I think my job is to make you uncomfortable.” Right now, we have a new generation of kids completely lost and looking for love in all the wrong places. May we offer nothing but love and acceptance…not affirmation of their sin but the good news that they, too, can be forgiven.
I hope you will see both movies and fuel your own spirit. Ask God to show you how you can serve His kingdom today, and pray you see the people and needs…and then have the courage to do something about it! If you would like to learn your God-given abilities, I have an assessment you can take online that will help you discover your strengths and where you can use them.
Leave a Reply