In Miracles from Heaven, Jennifer Garner stars as Christy Beam, a devout Christian and mother of three wonderful girls. But when her middle daughter, Anna (Kylie Rogers), is diagnosed with pseudo-obstruction motility disorder, her life comes to a grinding halt. Or, more accurately, her world comes crashing down all around her. After several trips to the hospital and specialists, Beam grows tired of hearing that there is nothing anyone can do, and takes matters into her own hands. But what happens when God has something even more miraculous in store?
The first half of the movie takes us through Christy and Anna’s fight for treatment of her disorder and the trip to Boston to see the expert gastroenterologist, Dr. Nurko (Eugenio Derbez). This trip also includes their encounter and friendship with the larger-than-life spirit of Angela (Queen Latifah), a representation of those people who stood by the Beams and their fight for Anna’s life.
Directed by Patricia Riggen, and produced by DeVon Franklin and T.D. Jakes, the film is a close-up not only on one mother’s struggle to care for her ailing child but also an exploration of a Christian woman’s faith when all seems lost. While Miracles from Heaven shows how persistently Beam pursues healing and expertise for her daughter, it also provides us a gritty, realistic exploration of what faith (and prayer, specifically) look like in the midst of uncertainty and suffering.
Faith is genuinely presented, but the hardships of those who believe makes this even more gripping. Christy deals with a church member who tells her that Anna’s sickness must be the result of sin; when Anna shares her faith with a fellow pediatric patient, the girl’s father tells Christy to keep her daughter from sharing false hope. After all of their prayers, Anna isn’t cured, which causes some people to doubt and some people to pray harder.
While this is an unofficial follow-up to Heaven is For Real, and fans of the first will certainly appreciate this one, the medical drama that the Beams wrestle with is tremendously moving. The power of the second half or final third of the movie is admittedly mind-blowing and unexpected, building on the performances of Garner and the young women who play her daughters. The story just defies expectation, and must be attributed to the miraculous grace of God.
I’ll understand if you have to see it to believe it. Sometimes, even as we read about the resurrection of Jesus, everyday miracles feel few and far between. Just remember in this Easter season, that God isn’t waiting to grant you eternal life in the future. God wants us to experience a real, full life, right now.
Thank You Jesus.
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