LETTERS TO GOD — THE MOVIE

I have watched this movie more than once and it always touches my heart.  I watched it again last night and decided to share it with those of you that have not seen it yet.

Letters to God is about an eight year old boy who has a strong faith and shows extraordinary courage as he faces a battle with brain cancer.  He lives with his mom and older brother, Ben.  His dad had died suddenly.

Tyler Doherty writes letters to God and puts them in his mailbox for the mail carrier to pick up.  The regular mail carrier takes a leave of absence and is replaced by a young guy named Brady Mc Daniels.

As Tyler writes his daily letters, Brady has major problems of his own to deal with.  He is lost, floundering, and trying to cope through a bottle of alcohol.  His wife has left him and taken their son because he was driving drunk with his little boy in the back seat.

The first day on his postal route, Brady is chased by a dog, gets tangled into a sprinkler system hose, and at the end of the route, Tyler throws up all over Brady’s shoes.  He goes to a bar and gets drunk.  The bartender sees the stack of Tyler’s letters that Brady is carrying and jokingly tells him to take them to the church.

He takes them to the church and talks to the minister.  The minister tells him that he believes God put the letters in Brady’s hands for a reason and that he is the caretaker of those letters.  He tells Brady to listen to God and let God tell him what to do with them.  Then he prays for Brady and asks God to help Brady discover the plan that God has for him concerning the letters.

When the minister asks Brady how it feels to be on a mission for God, Brady just laughs and walks out.

When Tyler goes back to school one of the boys, Alex, makes fun of him and is mean to him, making Tyler wonder why.

Tyler’s friend, Samantha, has a grandfather who tells Tyler he has been chosen to be one of God’s warriors.  He tells Tyler that when people see how strong he is, even when he is as sick as he is, it makes people look at their own lives and that is why they make fun of him.  He tells Tyler that it is his job to point people to God.

Tyler acts on what Samantha’s grandfather told him and decides to write a letter to Alex, hoping Alex will turn to God for the answers.

While Tyler is fighting the disease, his mom is struggling with her faith, angry with God for her husband’s death and Tyler’s illness.  Ben searches to find any faith at all and  Brady struggles to overcome his need of alcohol.  Tyler prays with Alex and Samantha and asks God to help Alex find Him.  Samantha admits afterward that she prayed to accept Jesus as her Savior during Tyler’s prayer.

Tyler is told he is done with the treatments, and his soccer coach asks him if he can play in their next game.  He plays for a little bit, but then collapses on the field.

They find out his cancer is worse and Tyler’s mom blames Brady because he is the one that convinced her to let Tyler play.

It is in this sea of pain that Brady reads all of those letters Tyler has written to God and realizes what he must do with them.

It is a decision that touches hundreds of lives.

Letters to God is a touching, heart-wrenching story of faith.  It shows clearly how God’s strength is made perfect through our weakness; and how that strength can shine through us to reach others for Him.

It is based on a true story.

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2011

MY LAST MINUTES WITH MY DAD

I have found myself depressed this week, and not in a very good mood.

It may be the weather … days of high heat and humidity followed by days of gloom and rain.

It may be because I am struggling with my writing, unsure still if it is what I am supposed to be doing.

It may be because these last few days mark anniversaries of keen losses for different parts of my family.

It is quite probable that the weather and my writing struggles are just added irritation to the knowledge of how my family is hurting this week.

The loss closest to my heart is the loss of my dad, Ellis Henderson, who died 20 years ago, July 30th 1991, when cancer finally became too much for him to fight.

My last memory of my dad was the night before he died.

I went over, after talking to my mother, because she could tell that time was short.  He lay in a hospital bed in my parent’s bedroom.  He had been mostly unresponsive for days and had slipped into a coma.

When I walked into the house, the smooth sound of Jim Reeves filled the rooms.  He was one of my dad’s favorites.  Jim Reeves, Nat King Cole, Kate Smith.

My oldest brother had suggested to Mom that she play those records that my dad always listened to, believing it was possible he would be able to hear them.

As I stood beside his bed, holding his hand, I tried my best to talk to him as if there was nothing wrong.  I told him about my day at work and what my husband and son were doing.

But as I stood there, looking down at his thin face, despair swept through me, and I began to cry.  I remember thinking, praying, that I would gladly take his illness on myself if he would just get better.

I fought the tears.  I did not want him to know how much my heart was aching if there was a possibility that he was aware of what was going on around him.  They flowed down my face despite my best efforts to stop them.

I felt his hand move under mine, and watched his eyelids flicker.  There was a subtle change in his facial muscles, as if he were distressed at my distress.

My mother came in and put her hand on my shoulder and steered the conversation, and my thoughts, to my day and what was going on in my own household.  When I had regained my control, I noticed that Jim Reeves had stopped playing.

I asked Dad if he wanted to listen to Kate Smith, not sure if he was at all aware of anything.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, his fingers moved under mine and his mouth moved slightly, as if he were trying to answer me.

I went into the living room and changed the record before going back in to stand by the bed.  It seemed as though his facial muscles had relaxed a little.

I don’t remember much of the visit after that, but I am so glad I went that night.  My mom called me at work the next morning to tell me he had just died.

And now, each time I hear Kate Smith, whether it is “God Bless America” or “I Asked the Lord”, I think of that last night with my dad and will always be thankful for those last few minutes I got to spend with him.

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2011