I’m convinced Jesus picked the disciples he did because they adequately demonstrated the most common characteristics of all humanity. Most people I’ve met seem to have the best and worst characteristics of the twelve men who followed Jesus around for 3 ½ years. At times we doubt claims about Jesus in the most Thomas-like fashion, or rest in the consistent reminder that we are Jesus’ beloved like John wrote in his gospel, And we couldn’t possibly keep track of the amount of times we’ve stepped up like Peter and said the most unnecessary thing at the most inadequate times.
I appreciate these qualities about the disciples. They experienced firsthand the confusion, adoration, and all out awe that comes with the life Jesus intended for all of us. They even came face to face with betrayal from within their own group, which led them to feel the loss of Jesus himself. When tragedy strikes and storms show up in life, we tend to react like the disciples did when they experienced storms. In one instance Jesus was definitely in the boat, but definitely not awake. The Christ-following men were shaken and terrified to their core. And yet, when Jesus demonstrates the power of his presence, they are given peace that paradoxically gives them understanding while still surpassing it.
In Greg and Cathe Laurie’s Christian film, Hope for Hurting Hearts, one is made aware that storms are still coming after the disciples of Christ. Well-known Christian figures such as Jeremy Camp and Nick Vujacic share their personal stories of grief, tragedy, and seemingly unanswered questions alongside Greg and Cathe’s personal loss of their son.
As I watched this family-friendly film, I found out almost instantly that I’m not the only one who has disciple-like qualities when it comes to following Jesus. The Christian documentary went into deep details that investigate how we as Christians are to react to the tragedies that are realities in our fallen and broken world. Thankfully, Greg and Cathe do not offer a formula for hope with a catchy phrase like “3 Steps for Grief Relief!” Instead, the audience is encouraged to continue following in the disciples footsteps. When storms and tragedy strike, gather with those who love you and you love and cry out for Jesus.
I was so moved by Hope for Hurting Hearts that I had to take a break between watching the film and writing my review in order to think and collect my thoughts about what I’d witnessed. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure that others had experienced the same journey that I had and like most other people, I was tired of being told, “I know how you feel” by people that clearly didn’t know how I felt. Yet as I went for a walk during sunset just after watching this Christian documentary, I felt a nostalgic connectedness to the other Disciples of Christ around me and those featured in the Christian film.
The biggest lie one hears during a tragedy is that he/she is in this all alone. Isn’t that the very agreement we make before we cry out to Jesus in the first place? As I watched Hope for Hurting Hearts, My lungs and my heart took a deep breath of relief as I was reminded of the very truth Jesus has been teaching his disciples since the very beginning… “I’m here.” In the end, isn’t that really all we need? The Titanic sank in perfectly still water, but a small boat with Jesus in it has yet to ever go down.