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You Will Never Fit In (The Movie: “Father Stu”)

Video: “You will never be lost and found if you fail to begin your journey”

The movie theater in Bozeman is packed with only seats in the front row left.

We want to see the movie “Father Stu” with Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson.

We knew little of the story, just enough to make us interested and boy were we in for a surprise.

Based on a true story, Father Stu is a former boxer who ultimately becomes a priest (spoiler alert) and eventually gets an incurable disease.

I won’t say anymore about that.

The movie is super charming. It’s funny, really funny and super, super sad. But more than that this is a movie that is very Hollywood but reveals the grace of God and the whole purpose of Christ coming to this earth, without all the religious overtones of a “Christian Movie.” This is not a Christian Movie and yet it is the way Christianity should be told. It’s real, it’s raw, they say fuck a lot and there is no polish on the characters.

My observation: As Kathy and I sat in the theater it was like being in what church should be an audience of all kinds of people, hearing the good news of Jesus without all the Easter Pomp and BS. We both said after the movie, if we’d seen that film at a theater back in Oregon, in Eugene Oregon, it would not have been the same. The audience didn’t feel uncomfortable with the religious tone of the movie. I don’t know exactly how to explain this but Kathy and I both felt it. To see this film back in our former home town much of the audience would have been uncomfortable and squirming a little. I’m probably not explaining this well but it was noticeable and we both felt it.

We’ve been to plenty of films back home that explored what might be considered “more conservative or religious ideas” and heard groaning from those sitting around us. Okay let’s not get stuck on that but it is something I want to bring up because for us in a room filled with strangers from all walks of life, it was glorious. No judgement everyone there not to nit-pick or politicize a movie but simply there to enjoy a story.

We laughed a lot and cried plenty. After the movie I leaned over to Kathy and said “That was like an Easter Service without all the hype and coercion.”

When we got to the car Kathy grabbed a piece of paper and pen and wrote down the line in the movie that stuck with us the most.

“Father Stu” at one point says “We are not humans here to live a spiritual life we are spiritual beings here to live human lives.”

Jesus didn’t come to this earth to give us more rituals or rules in which to “fit in”. He came to set us free from the religious paralyzation of a culture focused on dogma instead of relationship. He didn’t come to make us safe if we stay inside the lines He came to help us define what’s really a line and what is simply an attempt to make us more human rather than living in the spiritual unknown.

The acting in this movie is amazing and so is the story. If you’re looking for a true “Easter” story you might forget the egg hunt, ditch the once a year suit, tie and easter bonnet for something truly christ-like. He is Risen indeed but He came to set us free so lets live that way and remind ourselves we are not meant to fit in and we certainly don’t need culture, christian or otherwise, defining our lines.

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