Have you watched this movie lately?

I saw this movie a long time ago. Maybe even more than once.

I remember it as a Disney movie about a girl played by Haley Mills who single-handedly transforms a whole town with her sickeningly sweet positive attitude. Urg,

I’ve often used the term “Pollyanna” as a negative way to characterize syrupy optimism with no connection to reality. Y’know, “I’m not trying to be a Pollyanna here, but [blah blah blah…]”

But there were some things I didn’t notice about this movie before.

This is a story of an Evangelical Christian church grappling with the tensions caused by political pressure on churches.

It’s also a story of a missionary family in which the husband and wife both passed away, leaving a “t’ween”-age child who carries on her parents’ missionary work in the town where she was adopted.

This is a story about the ability of hope to heal, and about the ability of one person to make a difference.

Syrupy-sweet … yeah, sure, maybe … although in all honesty that wasn’t what most struck me when I watched it recently.

If you’re looking for a rainy-day movie, consider grabbing yourself some popcorn and checking this one out if you can find it, particularly if you haven’t seen it in a while.

If nothing else, it’s a nice bit of nostalgia with some excellent acting.

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