Neither of those stories had the fantastic twists of an M. Night Shyamalan movie or the visual effects of Inception. But both of them had the truth. The truth that sometimes people come from a hard life on the streets and reach the NFL. The truth that sometimes one person does the right thing and saves an entire community.
The truth that sometimes the impossible, is possible.
That’s why Soul Surfer will linger in our hearts and minds, too. It’s based on the story of Bethany Hamilton, the 13-year-old surfer who lost her left arm in a shark attack and now surfs professionally.
The movie, available on DVD, offers beautiful scenery and surfing shots that will leave you in awe of the athletes; believable acting from veterans like by AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid; and a respectful handling of Hamilton’s deep faith.
Her youth pastor told me that just two days before the attack Hamilton and her mother had prayed that she would have a greater opportunity and platform to share her faith with others. Now, Hamilton is a role model who has been interviewed by media outlets across the world – and each time she seems to work in how God gives her strength and how he loves us all.
Soul Surfer doesn’t shy away from any of that. It gives credit to Hamilton’s dogged determination and her desire to turn something tragic into something beautiful. And it allows Hamilton to give credit where she believes it’s due.
She’s not perfect. She sneaks out with friends at night and she has moments of weakness and questioning after the attack. She’s human and that makes her story even more inspiring.
One scene in the movie shows her dad describing how difficult her training will be, how far she has to go in order to compete again.
“I don’t need easy,” she says. “I just need possible.”
Don’t we all.