Unconditional is a Christian film inspired by the true story of two lives intertwined by troubles and trials, victories and hope. But what intrigued me is that this story involves choices and circumstances that we all face each day ourselves.
Sam’s character plays a big role in Unconditional and in some ways highlights many of the same challenges we face in our own lives. She is introduced as a young widow, an artist on sabbatical since her husband’s tragic and mysterious murder on the street corner one rainy night. Sam’s grief affects everything she does—she cut herself off from her friends and family, halted creating her art and illustrations, and is filled with depression and rage that makes her act out on a daily basis. She must find the murderer of her husband. She can’t go on without avenging him.
Sam’s struggle may not look like something each one of us deal with on the outside looking in. But her thoughts and intentions that constantly diverted her attention, day in and day out, were not unlike things we face. We are selfish. We are worrisome. We tend to get wrapped up in our own schedules, demands, concerns, deadlines, and routines. We let our emotions control us. We react defensively and we react out of shame. Samantha got to a breaking point with her everyday life. Her health and mental fortitude was waning. She couldn’t go on like this much longer.
Changing Hearts, Impacting Lives
The other main character in this Christian movie is Joe, a young man with a big heart and failing health. He grew up in the outskirts of the city, and after seeing how wrong choices dictated his life, he decided to take control and make a difference. He started a local organization to help underprivileged kids to develop into successful, driven, young adults with good grades, honest reputations, and a vision for a future. He constantly put others before himself, often neglecting his own health challenges.
The Seed of Unforgiveness
Sam reminds me of myself in so many ways. Even though I don’t act out in the same ways that she did, I’ve often been wrapped up in offense, burying my hurt and unforgiveness in my heart. Unforgiveness is a sour seed to sow in your mind and soul. It can taint your perception on truth, deceiving you to believe circumstances are not what they seem and people are not who they say they are. You aren’t able to make sound decisions when unforgiveness causes you to react instead of respond, to retaliate instead of regroup.
Unforgiveness, while it can be based off of something very real that happened, often rabbit-trails into a solitary mindset of selfishness. We feel like others are out to get us. We feel people are untrusting. Our resolve to overcome wanes and becomes a dark root of bitterness. We are incapable of really moving on because we are convinced we are impenetrably hurt.
Joe’s path led him to believe that even if people can take advantage of you, everyone deserves a chance. He also believed that if you set a good example, anybody can change, anyone who’s given a second chance can develop into a new person.
This movie touched me to my core because I realized that there are days I take people for granted, take opportunities for granted and just plain get stuck in my own ways. But it’s good to look up, to look to God for hope and vision and a future. It’s more than good—it can be life changing. His unconditional love towards us, when we are at our weakest, propels us forward into a life of freedom, forgiveness, and selflessness.
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