What Do We Say to a World Crying Out for Hope {Gimme Shelter Review}

I’m a cause person. An activist. Not a “stand in front of a tree because there is in an owl in it” activist {though I totally understand why people do that!} but a “use my words to help others understand” activist. I care deeply about issues and, even more, about the real life people affected by issues. It’s not enough for me to share statistics about human trafficking and what we can do, I want you to know the stories of the families affected by the sex trade. I spent ten years volunteering with a local crisis pregnancy center because I really believe it’s not enough to throw money at problems. As believers we are called to engage.

This year at our church we’re calling that engagement LOVE LOUD. We’ve committed ourselves to digging deep and doing things – big and small things – that make a real difference in people’s lives.

Kathy DiFiore ||Gimme Shelter Review ||Teri Lynne Underwood

Kathy DiFiore, James Earl Jones, Vanessa Hudgens, Ron Krauss

Kathy DiFiore knows all about digging deep. Thirty years ago, Kathy was a homeless woman who struggled to get back on her feet. And when she finally got her own house, she opened the doors to teenage girls who were pregnant and living on the streets of New Jersey. According to the SeveralSources website {the name of the shelters Kathy runs}, over 20,000 babies have been born to the residents of these shelters since Kathy started her ministry in 1981. All because a woman was willing to love loud, to take a risk.

Last night Scott and I were privileged to see a pre-release screening of Gimme Shelter, a movie inspired by Kathy and the girls she has helped. Vanessa Hudgens plays Apple, a pregnant 16-year-old  girl who desperately needs hope. This movie deals with addiction, abuse, abortion, homelessness, and several other major issues … but the real issue is hopelessness.

Vanessa Hudgens || Gimme Shelter Review || Teri Lynne Underwood

Vanessa Hudges as Apple in Gimme Shelter

James Earl Jones portrays a hospital chaplain who offers Apple a glimpse of hope. Without any sermonizing or judgment, he shares with her the truth that she is loved. And slowly, she begins to believe him. She finds love in a woman who offers her a place to stay. She finds love in a kindly pastor who gives her space to struggle. She finds love in a father she never knew. She finds love in a home for pregnant teenage girls. And as she finds love, she finds hope.

Gimme Shelter Review || Teri Lynne Underwood

I’m not a movie critic and if you want a review about the cinematography or the editing, you can find them. Gimme Shelter wasn’t a perfect movie … but Apple’s story is really the only story — hopeless lives finding hope in the love of God. And that love is supposed to be shown by us, by the ones who claim His name. It’s not enough for us to hide out in our safe little enclaves talking about all that’s gone wrong in the world today. We can no longer be the ones who only shine our light in the room with the others who also have the light. We’re called to love … to love loud … to live it out.

We need to be getting dirty and getting spent. We need to be in this world, loving the ugly and the hopeless. We need to do more than open our doors on Sunday mornings and spout pithy words on Facebook … we need to be the light. We need to be the ones who love, who reach out, who give out.

Because maybe there’s someone in your life who is crying out, “Gimme shelter!” And we have the answer, we know Him. He’s the One who says time and again, “I am your shelter. I am your refuge. I am your hope. And I love you.”

Go … tell … act … love … loud!

image sources: top two Grace Hill Media, bottom Canstock photo

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  1. I love this review. I had no idea what this movie was about, I don’t get out much 😉
    I too feel very strongly about human trafficking and child sexual abuse. But I am someone who hasn’t taken action yet. But this year, some girlfriends and I are starting a local “parties with a purpose” where we hope to raise money and awareness to issues like these. I am very inspired by your activism and just wanted to let you know you are a beautiful person!

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