In an influx of Christian movies this spring, Little Boy is another one you don’t want to miss, if only to watch the endearing Jakob Salvati play Pepper, aka Little Boy. When his adored father has to go off to war, Pepper wonders what he can do to move God to bring his dad back home. The local pastor talks about how the faith of a mustard seed can move a mountain, and Pepper knows he has his answer: faith. It’s a sweet little movie with a lot of heart, which dares to tackle some pretty big, pretty difficult themes…and it’s good for the whole family.
In his journey of faith, the local pastor gives Pepper a list of things to do to grow his faith. Ancient Christian practices, straight out of the bible: “Feed the hungry. Shelter the homeless. Clothe the naked. Visit the sick. Bury the dead. … Add one more thing: Befriend Hashimoto.” (Hashimoto was a local man, but he was Japanese, therefore the enemy in Pepper’s eyes.) Pepper works diligently on his list, learning to serve and love his neighbors, and even becoming friends with Hashimoto.
Meanwhile, the whole town is unsure how to respond to Pepper’s faith. They want to encourage him to trust in God, but don’t want him to be disappointed if God answers “No.” Is God obligated to give us what we want when we have faith? It’s a tough, sensitive subject, but the movie handles it with some grace and honesty.
One powerful moment comes when the pastor challenges Pepper to have faith he can move an object on the table. He concentrates and asks the object to move. Nothing happens. The pastor tells him to do it again. And again. And as Peppers passion and desperation for the thing to move grew, he spoke out with greater conviction…until finally… the pastor grabbed it and moved it. Pepper was surprised. It felt like a cheat—the object didn’t move, the pastor moved it. But as the pastor explained, he was moved to move the object by Pepper and his persistence. He was the mover of the object, but it was Pepper who moved him. Prayer is like that, he explained. It doesn’t move a mountain, but it moves the mover of mountains to act on our behalf.
The movie really is a gem, and it is simple enough for a child to learn from, but deep enough to challenge any adult. Not to mention, it was really just delightful. It won’t answer all your questions, but it will give you some good things to chew on and it will challenge you to have the faith of a mustard seed…and see what happens.
Questions for Discussion:
- Do you believe in prayer?
- What do you have faith in?
- Have you ever been disappointed because God didn’t answer your prayers the way you wanted? How did you respond?
- How many things have you done on Pepper’s faith list? (Feed the hungry. Shelter the homeless. Clothe the naked. Visit the sick. Bury the dead.) Why do you think those things are so important to God?And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. – Hebrews 11:6
Other Christian movies in the theaters this spring: