CAPTIVE, based on a miraculous true story that drew the attention of the entire nation, is a thrilling drama about the spiritual collision of two broken lives. When Brian Nichols – on the run as the subject of a city wide manhunt and desperate to make contact with his newborn son – takes recovering meth addict Ashley Smith hostage in her own apartment, she turns for guidance to Rick Warren’s best-selling inspirational book, The Purpose Driven Life. While reading aloud, Ashley and her would-be killer each face crossroads where despair and death intersect hope.
The movie stars David Oyelowo, who played Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the recent film, Selma.
Click HERE for a special greeting from David Oyelowo
I remember Ashley Smith’s story well. She was the single mom who was held hostage in her home and read The Purpose Driven Life to her captor. She went from victim to instant hero with an onslaught of publicity. It was obvious she wasn’t comfortable with the attention and as time went on, I heard bits and pieces of her story. She was a recovering addict. She didn’t even have custody of her daughter. And then, the story disappeared.
Captive is a haunting read because in Ashley’s words, she re tells her story and puts the reader right there in the apartment with her. I was completely absorbed into the story and read it in an evening. As the scenario unfolds it is obvious God had His handprints all over this. It’s amazing for all the places Brian Nichols went, he arrived at Ashley’s neighborhood. She was in the process of unpacking. She was new. Faith was a very new thing for her and it was her lifeline. But she had a plan B. She still had a stash of drugs.
I loved Captive because it’s an intriguing story that shows what God can do with a willing vessel. What I found surprising was she didn’t read a lot of The Purpose Driven Life to him. I had the impression she read chapter after chapter. I came away thinking God guided her conversation. She kept talking to him. He was a churched man. And that’s what made his story so sad.
I Googled the two to see “where are they now?” Ashley is married with two more children. It appears as if she is doing well and is active in her relationship with Christ. Brian Nichols? I see no mention that he transformed for the better after all the conversations he shared with Ashley.
This is going to be a major movie this month and I believe it will be not only solid entertainment, but a solid message, too. Captive, the book, was. I hope you read it.
To Purchase Captive by Ashley Smith, click here.
I confess, I’m writing this ahead of time so by now, the news might be saying something new. I also confess I have a total writer’s imagination. Where normal people see a grandmother hail a taxi, I think the CIA has a big mission in the works. It’s how I roll.
So with those confessions, here is where my mind went when I saw a news headline that Tot Mom Casey Anthony was spotted in Ohio. Again, I can’t say for sure this really was her and if so, is she still in my state. I can say though, she has family VERY close to where I live. The Anthonys’ used to live in the area years ago. So having her show up here isn’t impossible, so it got me thinking.
What if she showed up at your Sunday church service?
Could you give it? To her?
It’s not the same but years ago I remember hearing a story about a very straight laced church that knew the Bible backwards and forwards along with every denominational rule. One Sunday a biker shows up in traditional biker gear. No one paid him any attention, unless you call ignoring and avoiding eye contact attention. As the story goes, he stood up at the end of the service and announced who he was. He was a businessman who also happened to love motorcycles. He committed that summer to visit churches and see if they would love him as Jesus commanded to love. The church was sick with the truth. They treated the man awful based on his looks.
I live in an area where I don’t need to drive far before I can find gangs. Drugs. Prostitutes. Ex-Cons. Even without those things this is a heavy tattoo heavy place. What if someone with a sleeve of tatoos shows up and plunks down next to you in the pew? How about someone who greets you with their name and then, “I have AIDS.”
I envision all these scenarios coming to pass…soon. I also think when they find a relationship with Jesus they will most likely teach many long standing Christians (especially me) many lessons. They are hungry to be loved no matter how hard of a front they put up. In reality, they aren’t that different than us, are they?
But I digress.
Again, I know someone wearing leather isn’t quite the same as a young woman found innocent of murdering her own child.
Or is it?
Let’s have a good chat about this. Let’s keep it kind. I truly don’t have a right answer here, I can’t promise I’d throw a hug around her neck and have her sit by me. But I just got thinking, and this is where it ended. Have at it.
It’s Saturday so here is my Character Confession. Can you relate? I’d love to hear your comments.
I haven’t been watching a ton of TV (a good thing) but when I do, I’m noticing a trend.
Celebrities are pushing pot as a fun thing to do without consequences.
And that, my friends, makes me angry.
Entertainers gush about how their “inhaling” gives them creativity and helps them write songs and calm down. I watched one late night talk show where an actress who is also known as a beloved animated character went on and on and on with the host about how she went to high school and bought the drug off what is now a well known rap star. Said rap star was a guest performer on a kid’s show my children watch. His personal habits weren’t pushed but still, celebrating this lifestyle makes me angry.
I know growing up when Nancy Reagan said Just Say No, it sounded cheesy. Yet I rode the tough bus where many of the kids were involved with that drug. There wasn’t anything glamourous about them or their choices. The stats are there that users move on to heavier drugs. Addiction is possible. But of course, the entertainers aren’t telling you that part of the story.
I’m not entering the medical reason debate because that isn’t my issue today. I’m just sick and tired of turning on the TV and seeing “Mary Jane” as my elders called it, promoted as a fun thing to do when I have kids that enjoy the people’s work who are bragging about it. If you want to be on the stage and famous I think being a role model comes with the territory. I take that seriously as a writer and ministry worker. People are watching and that isn’t paranoia from your choices, it’s the truth.
I don’t like this, not at all.
And since this is my blog and my confession, I’m allowed to be angry.