“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
My wife and I just saw the movie, “Miracles from Heaven” starring Jennifer Garner, Kylie Rogers, Martin Henderson and Queen Latifah. It was certainly a movie that I would recommend to anyone. It is based on a true story about an initially happy Christian family living in Texas. When the movie opens, everything seems as it should be. There is good family communication, a beautiful farm that they live on, and every Sunday they attend an active Evangelical Church with good music and worship. The father even says to the mother, “this is the good life”. Then, the ten year old daughter, Anna, becomes ill. She has a rare, incurable, digestive disorder where her body cannot handle food. This disorder causes her severe pain, and there doesn’t seem any hope from the medical world.
The girl’s mother, played extremely well by Jennifer Garner, will do anything to help her daughter. She struggles with doctors until she finally forces herself upon a specialist in this field at Boston Children’s Hospital. Even this specialist doesn’t give her much hope. The mother never gives up on her daughter, but does give up on her faith in God. The family exhausts all of their financial resources trying to bring comfort to their daughter. The scenes where she is suffering so badly, while the family cannot do anything to help her, are quite intense and you certainly feel the mother’s anguish.
Then, something happens. The daughter is climbing a tall dead tree in their yard in Texas. A branch breaks and Anna plummets thirty feet in to the hollow tree. It takes rescuers many hours to get her out. When they do, she is brought unconscious to the hospital. When Anna awakens, the symptoms of the incurable disease are gone. Anna shares with her mom how God spoke to her in heaven about how he was healing her. I don’t want to get in to too much detail because I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but her healing is seen as a real miracle by all involved, including the doctors. This miracle brings back the faith of her mom as well as the faith of many involved.
At the very end, the mother speaks to their church and says some things that are very important. She recognizes the miraculous healing of her daughter, but also shows how she saw miracles happen throughout the whole journey involving many different people in what would be seen as doing ordinary things. There is a lot of power there, especially when they flash back on these things. After the movie ends, they have pictures and videos of the real family. Make sure you stay for those.
As Catholics, we believe strongly in miracles. Our history is full of them. We also know that miracles don’t always happen in the way we want them. To me, the strength of this movie is not just the actual miraculous healing, but in the family and friends and what they did during the difficult times. God works miracles in so many ways. More often than not, he works them through every day, ordinary actions of love. I would really suggest you take the time to see this movie. It is so much better than so many movies we are exposed to. The faith, love, and gift of family and friendship that this movie offers is so refreshing. God bless.