'Gimme Shelter' Inspirational, Family-Friendly

Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 07:57 AM

By Dr. Alveda C. King

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Once upon a time, before the world went crazy, there were compassionate people who opened shelters for unwed mothers, offering refuge and care for women and their babies in their desperate times of need.

In the 21st century, we call these shelters “pregnancy care centers.” The setting for much of the riveting new “Gimme Shelter” movie is a pregnancy care center.

The movie is modeled after a true story in which a young woman, estranged from her pitiful drug addicted mother, and virtually unknown to her well-to-do father, finds herself alone and pregnant. After several brushes with death and skirmishes with the law and her parents, she finds an unlikely refuge. We quickly fall in love with her, the shelter, and her new friends.

I understand why the producers of the film insist that it isn’t just about a pro-life message because while the message “choose life” reverberates in the movie, the totality of the message is much more comprehensive.

There is a struggle to overcome bureaucracy, familial dysfunction, and even implied racism in the film. Friendship, loyalty, faith, love, and grace abound on the screen.

It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include a scripture in this review, so here we go. Caregivers in the desired “shelter” reminded me of the midwives in the Bible. Where we are surrounded by the pharaohs of Planned Parenthood here in the 21st century, we discover in this film that there are still those who have not bowed their knees to the baals of greed that cause women to make desperate choices in seemingly hopeless moments.

Yes, there are angels in disguise, and we meet some of them in the movie. They remind me of the midwives in Exodus, Chapter 1.

“Behold, the people . . . are too many and too mighty for us . . . come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply . . . But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king . . . commanded them, so God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong.”

Compassion is an act of obedience and humility; an act that says “Yes, I’m my brother’s and my sister’s keeper.” The midwives in Exodus were humble, obedient, and compassionate. This expression of the love of Christ is predominant in the movie although one wouldn’t come away feeling that they had gone to a religious movie. Evil was confronted and overcome by good in a very realistic way in the movie.

Dealers and traffickers of drugs, greed, abortion, and evil in general are enemies to life and family. Yet, there is shelter in the storm.

While the film was primarily about a woman’s search for shelter, the role of the father in the life of his children was also poignantly addressed. But I come too close to the plot, so I’ll leave it to you to get to the theater.

My daughter and I went to see the movie, and she was moved to tears. It was a powerfully emotional experience for me as well.

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