All this week, WP Films will be making each of their films free to watch for one day. Today is the first of those films, Finger of God. You can watch for free right here.
I never wanted to be a filmmaker, and I definitely didn’t want to make my first film, Finger of God. I’ve told the story many times, but for those who have never heard it, I’ll give you the short version of how it came about.
My life is pretty much broken into two very distinct parts which hinge on a single, life altering event. On June 3, 2006, within one 30-minute period, I met an angel, and then I met God. Needless to say, it was a slightly intense half hour.
Before this moment I had grown up in the church, had my good and bad days with God, become a college professor, and had pretty much settled into a ho-hum truce with the Lord. I definitely believed in Him, would say I loved Him, but if you were to drill down any deeper it would become clear that I didn’t like Him very much. More to the point, I didn’t trust Him. I was afraid of Him. I was convinced He was either constantly mad at me, or at the very least consistently frustrated with me. I tried to do just enough Christian stuff in my life so I wouldn’t feel like a total spiritual loser, but I also had to make sure to keep God far enough away so He wouldn’t become dangerous in my life. It was like a spiritual tug-of-war, and it was exhausting.
But I had made peace with my spiritual malaise for the most part. This was “just who I am.” As much as I wanted to have a vibrant faith like some of the people around me, I just couldn’t get my mind out of the way. I had too many questions. Too many objections. Too much baggage from church and other Christians and this insane world. I was pretty much prepared to white knuckle it until I died and got into heaven. Hopefully it wouldn’t be too much like church.
But then I went to a church service and I met an angel named Breakthrough (long story, I told you this is the short version). He told me to make this movie I was thinking about, which back then was called Leap of Faith, but would eventually turn into Finger of God. The angel encounter was cool and trippy, but it was my encounter with the God of the Universe a few minutes later that messed me up forever.
I had left the main area of the church to be by myself for a minute, because it’s not everyday you have an encounter with an angel, and I was in full-on freakout mode. I was a college professor. This kind of strange spiritual stuff didn’t happen to people like me. But there was no denying it was happening, so now I had to deal. So I found an empty place in the balcony of the church and sat on the ground and tried to have a conversation with a God I didn’t like very much.
“God, what are you doing to me? What’s going on?”
Instantly, I entered the first vision of my entire life. I’ve had sort-of visions since then, mostly fragments of stuff when I’m praying for someone, but this was full-on sit back, relax, and enjoy the show kind of stuff. In front of me was a man and a boy standing in a field, both holding baseball gloves.
Now, a little side fact for you. I never told anyone, but my favorite memory as a kid was playing catch with my dad. He was (and still is) an amazing and successful artist, and he had a studio in our garage. Almost every day in the summer I’d go out there and ask if he’d play catch with me. He’d almost always say yes, and for the next 15-20 minutes we’d toss the ball around. It was the epitome of childhood for me. My dad, a busy guy, would drop everything to hang out with me, a snot nosed kid with mismatched socks. But more than anything my dad ever did, that made me feel the most loved.
So now I’m staring at this vision of a father and son in a field with gloves, and I don’t know what’s going on. Then, God Himself spoke to me. He asked me one simple question, but that question broke me to my core and changed my life forever. He simply asked, “Do you want to play catch?” Then He threw me the ball. I cried harder than I ever had in my life while we threw that ball back and forth. It was maybe 10 minutes, but it undid a lifetime of lies. I was always terrified of God because I figured He just wanted to take things I loved away from me and punish me for all my screw ups. But here, for the first time, I was encountering the REAL heart of God for me. He didn’t want to destroy me or make me miserable. He just wanted to hang out with me. As a Father.
When the vision faded, I heard the Lord ask me to stand up and walk to the edge of the balcony. When I looked over at everyone below, I saw hurt, pain, fear, doubt, abuse…just junk everywhere. Then that vision lifted, and the Lord asked me a final question.
“Will you make it for them? Will you make it for my people to show them how much I love them?”
I told Him I had no idea how the film I had in my head could do such a thing (it was more going to make fun of all the weird stuff people believed than celebrate anything), but at this point I was His. I’d do anything He asked me to do. A few weeks later I borrowed video equipment from my school and sat down with some guy named Bill Johnson for the very first interview of my life.
Finger of God went on to become a massive underground hit. With no marketing, it has now been seen by tens of millions of people around the world, and from the thousands of emails and testimonies I’ve received, has changed countless lives.
Lenny Kravitz, on his latest album, even wrote a song inspired by it, called “Gold Dust”! It’s humbling to say the least to do what I do and to hear how these crazy movies have woken people up to the love of God. When God called me to do this I was barely a Christian. But that’s the beauty of God’s love and grace. He is always offering an invitation into something greater with Him. All we have to do is say yes.
Finger of God is available to watch for free today, April 16, at www.wpfilm.com/holy-sharathon/. You can watch the rest of the movies in the series each day leading up to Easter, when you can watch our newest film, Finger of God 2, for free.
Listen to the podcast to hear an interview with Darren.