Coming to theaters this weekend, “Indivisible” is the story of Darren and Heather Turner as they pursue their calling to serve military families. Darren is an Army chaplain deployed to help mentor and counsel soldiers stationed in Iraq. Meanwhile, Heather remains at the home base to minister to the families left behind. But as the Turners battle for the souls that they serve, their relationship strains under the pressures of stress, separation and the traumas of war. The toughest battle, the Turners soon realize, will be the one for their marriage.
Darren’s unit is completely devastated when a tragedy ends in the death of two soldiers and a little girl. As the movie points out, there simply is no Bible verse for that. Darren struggles to make sense of it all for the soldiers, but he can hardly make sense of it for himself, and the toil begins to shake him to the core. The film also follows three other families as they each deal with the challenges of war: a married couple with children, a newlywed couple who is expecting a newborn, and a single mother. Each family experiences the brokenness that war leaves behind and searches for healing in their own way. The Turners must decide: when the world does not make sense and everyone else is bent on despair and destruction, who will they choose to be? Who will they serve (Joshua 24:15). As for their family, they choose to stand indivisible and serve God.
United we stand; divided we fall
At the end of the day, “Indivisible” is unabashedly a Christian film. And many Christians will find much to like about the film. The core of the story is about family, forgiveness and commitment. Those are beautiful things worth talking about. Regardless of nation, the Turners are a family under God first. And their true story is incredible and inspiring. The literal battlefield is juxtaposed with the spiritual battle of prayer. The film indicates that the true battle is the one that happens on our knees.
A more perfect union
If nothing else, “Indivisible” is a unique war film in that it is from the view point of a chaplain. Furthermore, it is a war movie that does not glorify war and deals with the tragic impact of post-traumatic stress disorder. But it also does not glorify the trauma or wallow in it without hope as many deconstruction war films have done. Instead, the movie explores how the trauma can be overcome. Whether you agree with the situation these families were in or not is beside the point. This was their life to deal with. It was reality. And the movie looks at not just those who were lost but those who survived. It looks at those, who even if they did not have to sacrifice their life, they clearly had to sacrifice their life — their living. As the movie communicates, the reason we are so angry with death is because we were made for life.
Finally, “Indivisible” is a film about marriage: a union, a joining of two to become one, a fusion of mind, body and spirit till death does the parting. You cannot divide the sugar from the flour once the dough has been baked. If you try, it will all crumble and be ruined. You cannot just simply divide the man from the woman and it not end in disastrous results. Therefore, marriage and family is worth fighting for.
“Indivisible” opens in theaters October 26.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm” (Ephesians 6:12-13).
Finley is a doctoral student researching Organizational Leadership. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org