Letters to God is a refreshing change from the typically disappointing production quality of many Christian movies. Not only did the film makers strive for excellence, they managed to build a solid ministry framework into a work of entertainment. I encourage parents and families dealing with cancer, loss, life-threatening diseases, and any major crisis, to go see Letters to God. The story has a strong message of hope. It deals with real issues facing grieving families, and it shows a way to cope through the unbearably heartbreaking times in life. It also reminds families to keep on loving, laughing, and living with loved ones who are still alive.
When I attended an early screening of Letters to God, I was still grieving from a tremendous loss my family endured in 2009. I won't go into details, but in light of my personal heartache, Letters to God affected me deeply. I'm certain God wants to use this story to help broken people and hurting families find a path through loss to healing.
How does a parent cope with the loss of a child? How do families fight the frightening battle against cancer? Where do we find a way of hope through great sorrow and unimaginable pain? And how do you remember to love, and laugh, and live with the ones who are still living?
Letters to God is based on the true story of Tyler Doughtie. Patrick says his son was his inspiration in life. After Tyler's death in 2005, as Patrick reflected on the boy's upbeat mindset and invincible spirit, God gave him the determination to go on living, loving, and believing. Two years later he wrote the screenplay to Letters to God.
Like Patrick, many of you know too well the pain of loss. Maybe you're struggling right now with a disease that is threatening the life of your child or another family member. I had the privilege of talking to Patrick through an email interview, and I believe you'll find tremendous comfort and courage as you read inspiring words from the father of the boy who gave life to this story.
I hope you'll go see the movie, too. Patrick wants readers to know that Letters to God isn't a sad movie about a child with cancer. "It's a celebration of life," he said, "and an uplifting and inspirational movie about hope and faith! I feel it has something to offer everyone, regardless of your faith or belief, because cancer doesn't care what you believe in or how much money you make. It'll come knocking at your door no matter who you are."
Images Courtesy of Possibility Pictures and Patrick Doughtie