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Writing a Letter to God
Letters to God was a 2010 movie based on the true story of 8 year-old Tyler Doherty, suffering from cancer. The story was written by Tyler's father, Patrick following his sons’ death. Although the story takes place in Nashville, TN, it was filmed in Orlando, FL. with the part of Tyler being played by Tanner Maguire. The film was produced by Christian filmmaker David Nixon, Kim Dawson, Tom Swanson and Art D'Alessandro.
The movie’s plot revolved around Tyler's love of writing and letters he sent to God. The film was released amidst mixed reviews and opened at number 10 at the box office. However, for various reasons its earnings didn’t quite make its $3 million budget.
But, the film’s message is what most viewers took away with them. For the most part, the story is true, but has a few fictitious characters added for effect, such as a substitute alcoholic mailman named Brady McDaniels played by Jeffrey Johnson.
McDaniels at first doesn’t know what to do with Tyler's letters and seeks help from a local church, but the pastor advises McDaniels to just keep them. Eventually he reads some of them and is touched to the point he resolves to clean up his life and he tosses his whiskey bottles away. The movie also details events in Tyler’s life such as being bullied, made fun of for being bald and the death of his father.
Photo From the Movie
Later, McDaniels develops a close relationship with Tyler’s mother and he shares the letters with her. One of the letters was written by Tyler’s brother , Ben, which inspires her to try to be a better mother. In the end Tyler passes away at home and a friend dedicates a “mailbox for God,” saying "his life was a letter to God."
The movie did well in Nashville, since the story was about one of their own. It was also popular with Christian movie goers. However, it didn’t seem to attract as many main stream movie genre viewers.
Despite this, it apparently focused attention on places where letters to God can be sent such as a website called Our Letters to God at http://ourletterstogod.tumblr.com/ which was actually inspired by the film.
Of course, there are others. Some are for anyone who wishes to write and some cater to children such as Kid’s Letters to God at http://www.goddirect.org/life/writings/june/godlettr.htm. Letters posted here are letters written by children, sometimes serious and deeply moving while others are humorous writings of worldly affairs as seen through the innocent eyes of a child.
As humorous examples of what is posted by children, let’s look at a few:
· “Dear God, How come my brother has a pee pee and I don't? Did you run out of them?"
· “Dear God, Why do old people smell funny?”
· “Dear God, Would you make me a little brother? I want to have someone to boss around like my brother does me.”
· “Dear God, I don't like Brussels sprouts. Do I still have to eat them? I don't like milk, either."
As you can see these letters, as seen by adults, are a little on the humorous side. But to the kids writing them, they are extremely serious. But they also write letters adults can readily identify as being serious. Such as the following:
· “Dear God, My grandma is dying. She says you want her back with you, but I want her to stay here with me. You can have anyone you want. She's all I have, so please let her get better and stay."
· “Dear God, My dog, Bowser is getting really old now. He gets up slowly and doesn't keep up with me anymore when we run. Mommy says he's going to die one day. Could you just make him a puppy again instead?"
· “Dear God, I hate it when Daddy drinks his beer. He smells awful. Then he sleeps. He gets mean and yells at me a lot. Did you make up beer? Why?"
The Kid’s Letters to God site has letters categorized by subjects of varying topics including family, God, life, truth, negative and positive feelings and love.
Another site, which prints amusing letters from kids, is Jokes: Children Write Letters to God at http://www.turnbacktogod.com/jokes-children-write-letters-to-god/ . Here’s a few from that site:
· “Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t you just keep the ones you have now?”
· “Dear God, I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool!”
“Dear God, So far today, I’ve done OK, I haven’t gossiped, or lost my temper. I haven’t been greedy, crabby, mean, nasty, selfish, bitchy or over indulgent. And I’m grateful for that. But dear God, in a few minutes I’m gonna get out of bed, and then I’m probably gonna need a lot more help.”