Teenage conflict, a marriage that needs work, God blurring out of focus. These create the backdrop for a family ripe for renewal.
Nothing brings a family together like manual labor in stressful situations. Working side by side, the individuals in this fractured family begin to remember what they liked about each other and what they lost sight of in the pressures of everyday life.
Ernest Otto challenges Matthew to just ask himself one question before acting, “What would Jesus do?” And, Matthew finds that the answer sometimes surprises him, and his change of heart surprises everyone else in the process. He continues to learn from Ernest as his family is pieced back together along with the wood he had destroyed in an act of vandalism.
I appreciate that the film does not make it out that trusting God will make your life hunky-dorey. Otto lost his wife to cancer in the past, but did not lose his confidence in the power of prayer. The story kept the attention of our whole family and had enough ups and downs and unexpected challenges to keep us on our toes.
The only disappointment to me was the ending. Poor Otto sitting by his wife’s grave crying over how much he misses her. I would have preferred him expressing his sorrow but remembering that he doesn’t mourn as those that have no hope. But, I guess they were just keeping it real.
Overall, a great film that might make you reconsider some of your own priorities and brush the dust of that well worn question, “What would Jesus do?”
About the Movie:Matthew Stevenson is a troubled kid from a broken home. When he vandalizes the local church to get back at his parents, Matthew has to repair the damage to the church to avoid criminal charges. While working at the church, he meets Ernest (John Ratzenberger), an accomplished wood carver who created the intricate woodwork decoration that Matthew destroyed. Ernest has become something of a hermit, but reluctantly comes out of reclusion to help repair the church. Now Ernest and Matthew must work together to preserve the church’s beautiful antiquity, and along the way, they also manage to restore their faith in God and in life.