“Love’s Everlasting Courage”
This straight-to-DVD release is a family movie that frames the world the way that all of us believers would love to see it:
A handsome, loving young couple, Clark (Wes Brown), and Ellen (Julie Mond), work hard together on a family farm (sometime in the era of horse-pulled wagons), always reminding each other how much they mean to one another.
They have one beautiful daughter, Missy (Morgan Lily, who was nominated for Hallmark Channel’s “Young Artist Award” for this role), who always runs to see her Dad when he comes home, and helps Mom with the household chores, and greets the grandparents warmly whenever she sees them.
Clark’s parents, Lloyd and Irene (Bruce Boxleitner and Cheryl Ladd),come to visit, and help around the farm, Lloyd with the very physical work of trying to dig a water well, and Irene with the kitchen chores, where she recruits a willing learner in her granddaughter, Missy.
Sure, they have setbacks, but they always support one another and never blame each other.
Once, when Clark is complaining to his father about how the Lord is supposed to reward the good, but he’s been good, and doesn’t understand why bad things have been happening to him, Lloyd explains that the Lord doesn’t necessarily cause the bad things to happen, but is always by our side when they do happen. Gotta love grandfathers with good theology. He also gently advises his adult son not to get too angry with his daughter when she makes a mistake, and to make sure she knows that he forgives her. Grandpa also, by both his words and deeds, reminds his grown son that parents will do anything for their children, and will always be there for them, no matter how old they are.
When the drought causes crops to fail, and makes this poor family unable to pay their mortgage on the land, Ellen rides to town on her horse to work as a seamstress for the local tailor, even though women working outside the home wasn’t a well-accepted idea in those days, because she, too, does what she has to do to help keep the family together.
When an accidental fire damages their little wooden house, the whole community comes out to help rebuild it, refusing any remuneration, saying only, “that’s what neighbors are for.”
Well, if the idyllic old West was ever like that (no outlaws ride into town, and there’s no saloon for them to get into trouble, and no natives on the warpath, either), we’re happy to think of them as “the good ol’ days.” There’s no question that this is a family film with positive values. The only real question is, “Will anybody care to see it?” Or will they stay away in droves so they can watch “The Avengers” instead? You decide.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Interim Pastor, St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Irving , Texas