It’s rare I turn my television on except to enjoy my music or watch the first 15 minutes of news reports. On the occasions when I’d attempt to watch a movie, it’s nearly impossible to view all the way to the end or not constantly pressing pause because I can’t sit still. However, recently I came across a 2015 film streaming on Tubi titled War Room, directed by Alex Kendrick. Initially I passed it over based on the title, never being a fan of actual war movies, but the title continued to appear in the rotation, so I decided to take a closer look by watching the trailer. To my surprise, it was not directly related to war and the trailer alone had so many powerful messages that stood out for me. Finally, a movie that captured my undivided attention and my only reason to press pause was to take notes. This film was truly inspiring and touched me in such a way that I’d like to share it with all of you while trying not to give too much away in case you choose to watch yourself. Had I watched this years ago, it would not have resonated the same. I wouldn’t have noticed key points and my perspective regarding the roles of the actors likely would have been different.
Back Story: A middle-aged wife comes in contact with an elderly widow of a war veteran who during his service, was in charge of fighting tactics/strategies. The widow also held resentment towards her husband due to feeling as if his job took priority over her. She regrets missing the opportunity to make things right with her husband before he dies in battle.
Basis: The wife grows to resent her husband for several reasons, mainly due to the obvious affect their constant fighting has had on their young daughter. Although both are successful in their careers, the marriage is falling apart. Even though the husband comes home every evening, he is not present mentally nor emotionally.
Plot: The “war room” is simply a safe and private space to pray while establishing a relationship with God. The wife was advised by the widow to pray for her husband. Write down the prayers for every area of her life, as she did along with lining the walls of the “war room” with them. Soon the young daughter noticed her mother had completely cleared out the closet that was previously filled with smelly shoes (a woman giving up closet space, really?). The mom’s new actions were soon mimicked by her daughter.
Messages (that stood out for me):
“To win a battle you need the right strategy and resources because victories don’t come by accident”.
The widow asked the wife how often she prays. Regularly, sometimes or not at all. The wife responds, “sometimes but not often”. To make a point, the widow offers a cup of coffee, and the wife is surprised after taking a sip and it’s luke-warm. The wife was confused until the widow explained with a giggle, “honey, coffee comes hot or cold and I like mine hot” as she relates the temperature of the coffee with consistent prayer.
The wife was then asked if when after fighting/arguing with her husband, has it ever felt like a win? After taking a moment to think, her answer was no. They widow replied that she hasn’t been fighting with the right weapon. This caused me to really think by reflecting on my past and present and how I choose to move forward with conflict in the future.
The husband had a friend who is a paramedic and asked him, how could he stand to do CPR on someone? The friend replied with a spiritual aspect then asked the husband if he would perform CPR on his own wife. The paramedic was ashamed and in awe when the husband responded that all he could do was call 9-1-1 and wait. They parted as the husband says, “I’ll see you in church”. His friend replies, “I’m gone pray that I see the church in you my brother”.
Wrap Up: The husband wasn’t a bad man, perhaps arrogant but his behavior ultimately cost him his job. After noticing his wife had no longer been fighting with him and seemed more patient, it made him nervous. He would sneak and switch their dinner plates thinking implying that she may poison him. The movie mentions that we are not deserving of grace, yet God still gives us his grace regardless of our actions. I appreciated the example of this when the husband returned to his job even after being fired, to make a full confession to his superiors. One, instantly wanted to pursue legally action while the other heard him out and made the decision to not press charges due to recognizing his sincerity and for taking accountability for his action, willing to accept whatever would be decided. It reminded me of the times when I have been shown grace and how often we take things for granted and why I am so thankful to be here today.