Last night I had the privilege of seeing the upcoming movie, “Soul Surfer.” It’s the story of Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack. Bethany’s faith in the Lord and her story of perseverance is an incredible story that deserves to be told.

Our office also has a special interest in the film because Carrie Underwood is making her film debut portraying Sarah Hill, Bethany’s youth minister. Sarah will be coming to the Oklahoma Ladies’ Retreat April 15-16 at Falls Creek. This is a special opportunity for you to hear more of the real story and Sarah’s own incredible journey of faith.

While I’m not a professional movie critic, I do want to offer some thoughts as you consider attending the movie that begins playing nationwide on April 8.

1) Movies that have a strong faith theme sometimes get labeled “cheesy” or that the acting is sub-par. I found the movie to be very professional in all ways, including acting by well known celebrities such as Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and Anna Sophia Robb. Carrie Underwood did a pretty good job for her first try on the big screen too.

2) The faith message was not watered down. Unlike so many movies today, Soul Surfer portrays a family who is loving and supportive. It shows the struggle of questioning in God in a tough situation and finding out that our purpose is much bigger than our talent or abilities.

3) What about bikinis and modesty? So, I’m a huge modesty geek (ask the high school girls of my youth group and my strict camp rules) But, I think it would have been ridiculous to portray surfers in Hawaii in a one-piece tank. I just don’t think it would have been as realistic. And, in the surfing competition scenes, girls wear surfer shirts. Let’s not get too legalistic on this issue if this is causing you to not attend the movie.

4) The shark attack was handled well. The movie producers did not shy away from the terror and shock, but it is not something most people will have problems watching. (there’s a lot worse on prime time television)

So, go see the movie. Your support of films that have a good message are important. And it’s important to go the first weekend it is out. We need more films like this and without your attendance, Hollywood just won’t get the picture.