In the middle of the making of "The Perfect Wave," a film in limited release across the U.S. today, director Bruce MacDonald wasn't sure he could continue filming. His son had just nearly died in a downhill skateboarding accident.
"When Matthew had the accident, at that point, I went to my producer and said I'm not sure I can do this film. This is one attack too many," MacDonald told The Christian Post this week. "I think God wanted to show me that He is all-powerful. That's why He healed my son and the whole message of the film is about God's grace and God's forgiveness, and His healing power."
In an amazing parallel to his son's near-death experience, "The Perfect Wave" is about the true story of Ian McCormack, who "miraculously awakens" following a divine post-mortem encounter and is transformed with a new understanding of life.
Similarly, Matthew MacDonald "saw his life flash before his eyes" after a high-speed collision with an oncoming vehicle. A 13-minute video that includes actual footage of Matthew's accident can be seen below. The accident happened when Matthew and a few friends "headed out to do what they love most, skate down some of Cape Town's steepest roads, in an ever-popular extreme sport known as 'Downhill Skateboarding,'" the producers of the video said.
The video about MacDonald's son also includes his wife's telling of the story as well as both father and son discussing the accident and miraculous healing.
"When you head out on a God adventure or film project or anything in life I think you come under a test and God is interested in who we are not what we do," MacDonald told CP. "I believe God wanted to show me who He was and who I am in Him."
After deciding to continue the filming of "The Perfect Wave," he said he was able to help actress Cheryl Ladd relate to her character more through sharing about his own experience with prayer and worship that took place during the recovery of his son.
"As a director to understand that His grace and power is amazing, and then to be able to present that experience to Cheryl Ladd at the moment to say this is what happens when you are a praying mom and this is how important the role is that you play in the film – accordingly we evoked that amazing performance," said MacDonald.
He believes people go through adversity in order to be taught lessons. Certainly, that was the case with him during his son's accident and recovery.
"My faith was grown and certainly sometimes when you go through adversity you either blame God for your adversity or you praise Him and we chose to praise Him," he said. "We've seen great power in praise."
When asked about "The Perfect Wave," MacDonald, who has surfed for 37 years, said the film has made an impact even in the secular market in screenings held so far.
"We've been accepted into film festivals that have never ever accepted Christian films before and it's based on the beauty of the film and the beauty of the locations," he said. "It's almost a little bit of "Eat, Pray, Love" but done better in my view."
He added, "I would like people to dream again. One of the songs in the film is called "Dreaming" and … embracing the beauty that is around us."
MacDonald said that the film will most likely impact non-believers in a profound way.
"Anybody out there who watches the film, if they don't know Jesus as their savior, they are certainly going to walk out of the film wondering what would happen if they were in their last moments of their life, and what decisions have they made," he said. "It's almost like an introduction to Jesus to those that don't know him."
MacDonald concluded, "I've been surfing for 37 years. It's a very spiritual experience. A key aspect of this film is surfing, and surfing being a spiritual thing. What is your perfect wave in your life? Surfers are always looking for a perfect wave, but people out there are also looking for something and we say that the perfect wave is God's perfect love, riding a wave is like spending time with God, you get great enjoyment and fulfillment."
On the Web: http://www.theperfectwave.co.za/
WARNING: Video below contains actual footage of the accident and may be disturbing to some viewers.