New film Redeeming Love is a beautiful tribute to God’s grace and the healing power of love, says writer and reviewer Stephanie Pena. Here she explains what it showed her about our bride groom and good shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Based on bestselling novel by Francine Rivers, Redeeming Love is a story of relentless love, as a couple’s relationship clashes with the harsh realities of the Californian 1850 Gold Rush. It’s an honest film with the word of God moving at its heart.
Angel (Abigail Cowen) was wounded by a life she did not choose. Sold into prostitution as a child, Angel survived with a numbness to life. There were real moments of personal painful viewing. A time in history when women had little rights and the way they were abused by those who were entrusted to care for them is upsetting in many ways. Fortunately, she met Michael Hosea (Tom Lewis) with God’s perfect timing, a compassionate farmer who follows God’s call to make Angel his wife.
It broke my heart when Angel shared with Michael: “I don’t know how to love I have too many demons.” In Michael we see not only the love of a true husband, a true man of God we see how Jesus loves us, how our heavenly Father unconditionally loves us wanting us to come home. We see how this love heals and transforms her. Michael continued to love her in her brokenness with compassionate forgiveness, mending her wounded heart but she struggle to accept his support. There are times I think we all can relate in some way to running away from love when shame has become a barrier. Shame keeps us bound but perfect love sets us free.
I think we all can relate in some way to running away from love when shame has become a barrier. Shame keeps us bound but perfect love sets us free.
Throughout Angel’s life others spoke lies over her about what she should expect from life and men. These lies suffocated and paralyzed her in fear. Michael’s love revealed the truth. Angel saw Michael’s compassion as he washed her feet and bandaged up her wounds. This reminded me of Psalm 147:3, which says: “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” Love in action.
This film had script writing at its best with the word of God came through the lines in a way that spoke direct to my heart. We would expect nothing less form the talented writing of Francine Rivers and director DJ Caruso who adapted the novel into the screen play. The actors performances are flawless with radiant emotional truth coming through the screens. An acting masterclass from the whole cast with outstanding leads from Abigail Cowen and Tom Lewis. I was moved on a number of occasions to healing tears as I sobbed watching, feeling in moments God was speaking directly to me. The symbolism in the film imagery is a true work of art, pointing with subtle beauty to scripture in the bible.
The word of God came through the script in a way that spoke direct to my heart.
The verse “The sword of the spirit which is the word of God” from Ephesians 6:17 is evident throughout the film. Michael made all his decisions in prayer, reading God’s word and being obedient to God’s will. He waited on the Lord and fought for what was true. He waited until marriage and until Angel was truly ready to be intimate with him. He listened to her needs and never judged her. His love built Angel up to be the woman that God created her to be. In a moment of love and forgiveness he said to Angel: “It is your pain that brought us to this moment.” We all need a “Michael Hosea” in our lives. But we all have something even better in the love of Jesus Christ our redeeming bride groom and good shepherd, and I will be forever grateful.