Actor shares encouraging MessageBy ANTHONY WARREN,
Jim Caviezel wanted to play in the NBA and later become a fighter pilot.
Fortunately for the American movie industry and his three children, God had other plans.
The actor recently spoke at a fundraiser for Catholic Charities, where Caviezel reflected on his life, his career and his faith.
In an age where so many people in Hollywood are reluctant to talk about God, it’s refreshing to hear from a celebrity who is so willing to discuss the Creator’s impact on his life.
Caviezel, who is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, told the crowd gathered at Thalia Mara Hall that the Plan A’s for our lives don’t often work out, but if we embrace God’s plans, the results can be wonderful.
Caviezel’s life is case-in-point.
Had the Washington-state native gone his own way, he could have been the next Michael Jordan or Larry Bird.
An admirable goal. Had he achieved that goal, though, he might not have landed the title role in the 2002 movie The Count of Monte Cristo, and he might not have played Jesus in one the most powerful Christian movies ever made.
Equally important, he might not have adopted his three children.
The event was a perfect fundraiser for Catholic Charities Jackson, which focuses on adoption, counseling, immigration integration and other services, according to its website.
Caviezel reflected on two major “clarifying moments” in his life. The first was at a movie theater in Washington state. After an injury sidelined his dreams of basketball and flight training, he realized that God wanted him to be an actor.
Years later, Caviezel has had a storied career, not only playing Jesus, but also landing roles in several hit movies and television shows, including one of my favorites, Person of Interest, which ran for five seasons.
Not a bad plan B.
Caviezel’s plans also included having three or four biological children.
However, those ideas were not in God’s plans.
The second time God spoke to him was to encourage him and his wife Kerri to adopt a five-year-old boy from China.
A five-year-old boy with a brain tumor.
The couple later adopted a daughter, also from China, and also with a brain tumor, according to an article published on the Catholic News Agency’s website.
A third child, suffering sarcoma, soon followed, according to an article from Heightline, a celebrity news website.
“If we had three or four (of our own children), we wouldn’t be open to adopting,” he told listeners at Thalia Mara.
The actor urged listeners to embrace the callings that God had for them, but he admitted that doing so can be tough.
For Caviezel the father, that meant standing by his first child as he went through numerous surgeries to remove the tumor.
For the actor, that meant agreeing to take on a role that could have ended his Hollywood career.
Mel Gibson, who produced Passion, told Caviezel if he took on the role he might not work in Hollywood again.
Then, off course, there were a number of physical injuries Caviezel endured during the production.
Instead of ending his career, though, the Passion movie was one of the top-grossing films of the year. And Caviezel’s career has continued to thrive.
“Callings are stressful, but if you have the courage they can be wonderful,” Caviezel told the crowd.
It’s a positive message, and one that Christians should take to heart. We might not all be called to act or adopt children, but we should be open to what the Lord has in store for us.