I arrived at a doctor’s appointment, and talked with the receptionists while I waited. I could tell she was under spiritual and emotional pressure. I found out that she went to my church, and I gave her information about some ministries available to her. I was determined to give her a slice of hope and comfort before I left. I could sense that she needed something tangible, some concrete resource that would help her through this season of heaviness.
I fished through my purse, and I pulled out a book that I was currently reading. This book gave Christian insight on issues that women struggle with every day. I was so excited that I had taken this book with me! I knew this resource could shed some light into the darkness in which this woman found herself.
However, I can never forget her expression when I handed her the book. She was so disappointed! The Gallup poll says that about half of Americans are reading books; yet, there are still another half of Americans who are not (Gallup.com).
What Christian resource could I have given this woman that would have filled her heart with God’s truth in a medium that she would have embraced?
My twin sister and I recently watched the Christian short film,”Ragman,” based on the classic short story by best-selling author Walter Wangerin, Jr. Director Dale Ward (4 time Emmy Award winner) does an amazing job at bringing this faith-filled story to life in a way that is relevant and tangible. This short film is beautifully directed and performed, and my heart was so full of God’s beauty and love when the 18 minutes were up.
In retrospect, I wish I had the book and the DVD in my purse. I would have pulled them both out and asked the woman, “Which would you prefer?”
What if every anointed written resource was produced into visual media? I see the trend beginning, and I know why the visual complement of books is so important. God loves 100% of people, and I could only imagine that He would want His truths produced to reach both halves.
The visual concepts of the film are stunning, and each current day symbol alludes to a New Testament counterpart. You watch as the Ragman (Christ figure) walks through an inner city, exchanging people’s old rags for new ones. The Ragman meets people on his way to die on a trash heap, taking their pain and sorrow on Himself and replacing it with His healing and peace.
A well-dressed man diligently follows the Ragman, learning and experiencing His character, power and glory. The well-dressed man watches as the Ragman dies for the sufferings of others, and then the man falls asleep overwhelmed with grief.
The well-dressed man awakes to find the Ragman risen from the dead, beautiful and whole again. The man faces the Ragman, takes off his nice clothes and pleads, “Dress me!”
During this final scene, I saw my heart’s cry. I want to diligently follow Christ, strip myself of my selfish nature, and beg God to dress me in His glory and righteousness. I want more than forgiveness of my sins; I want to emulate Jesus. I desire for people to look at my life and think to themselves, “She definitely loves God because she’s starting to live like His Son.”
My love for God shapes my obedience, and my obedience shapes my Christ-likeness. I pray that we all will deepen our love for God, so that our obedience to His commands become like honey to us (Psalm 19.9-10 NIV).
“But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did” (1 John 2.5-6 NLT).
We are giving away 2 copies of Ragman. Leave a comment and you get 1 entry. State that you are a follower and get a second entry! Entry deadline is Saturday, August 21st and we will announce the winners on Sunday, August 22nd.
The film has ben awarded the TAFFY Award at the Attic Film Festival, and also Best Faith-based Film at the Cape Fear International Film Festival. “Ragman” is currently nominated for Best Drama at this summer’s Route 66 Film Festival in September.