Recently I received a copy of “Homeless for the Holidays” to view and write a review on. If you know me, you know I’m not a big fan of movies made by Christians for Christians. So I invited my wife to sit and watch it with me, because she, admittedly, “loves cheesy movies”.
One of the main points throughout the story is that God can take immense suffering in our lives, and use it for His purposes. That point is brilliantly illustrated by the simple act of watching the movie. As expected, there are major reasons this movie was never in theaters, and won’t sell well to the general market. A whole bunch of cheese, and scenes you just wish would move on because the acting feels way too unbelievable. In the words of the advertising I received, “This film was made on a much lower budget than originally planned and many of the actors involved even worked for free in order to make the film possible.” I hope so.
But bad script and acting aside, we find God at work even through the immense suffering of this movie if we allow. It is, after all, based on a true story. So while watching, perhaps it’s helpful to imagine one person telling us his testimony. Less as entertainment, and more as a story of God in a man’s life…it’s worth hearing in a world that emphasizes things like “success” and “material wealth/comforts” over humanity and family.
He loses his job for some pretty unjust reasons, and savings only keeps them going a few months before the bills begin stacking up beyond their ability to pay. They lose services, power, and finally even gas before ultimately being evicted from their home. If you can get past the moments in the movie that make you groan, there are some good questions to discuss:
– How can this movie be a reminder to change my natural inclinations this Holiday season?
– How do I model “what is important” to my family? My children specifically? My spouse?
– Where have I shown compassion on someone in need in a new or creative way recently, recognizing we are all children of God?
– How can I live my daily life more simply, so that when unexpected crises’ occur, it’s easier to continue with what matters?
– Am I thankful for the things I often take for granted? Electricity, water, heat, food, etc?
So yeah, over all a movie worth existing. Get it for your church library. Of course, those of us who need to watch it are probably renting movies, or watching them on Hulu….while the people who live simply without cable/internet will be the ones who watch a movie like this, for lack of other options.
But who knows…”Fireproof” seems to have been a big hit. 🙂 This definitely competes, and you don’t have to deal with Kirk Cameron.