Kevin Malone, who was once described as the best general manager in the MLB, testifies in a new short film about God’s miraculous work on his son, Shawn, who was brought back to health after doctors declared the young man was “gone.”
In a 20-minute production titled “The Shawn Miracle,” the Malone family shares their testimony.
Kevin Malone, his wife, Marilyn, and their children appeared to have it all: The patriarch of the family had reached celebrity status in professional baseball, while Marilyn was busy holding down the home and doing her best to raise her children in the Lord. But suddenly, their lives changed forever.
Shawn, their valedictorian son, “had a hidden secret that would plunge their family into the depths of despair,” the film’s description reads. “When doctors told them ‘Your son is gone,’ the family boldly prayed, ‘God, we want a full miracle ... We know Shawn’s story isn’t finished.’”
Along with well-known preacher Francis Chan, the family shared the full story of Shawn’s miracle in the docu-narrative directed by Brian Ivey.
"My wife's a private lady, and we kind of pulled back the curtain, so to speak, and revealed the challenges that we had with a son that had an addiction to drugs and what you go through," Malone told The Christian Post.
"I know there's a lot of families sitting in churches all over America around the world that have some issues and they feel ashamed, or they feel discouraged and they don't know what to do. And hopefully, this movie will provide encouragement, will provide hope."
The former general manager for the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers said he and his team want people to know that “no matter what the challenges are in your family or you personally, God is the God of miracles. He is Jehovah Rafa — the healer; Jehovah Jireh — the provider, and He provided a miracle to our family.”
In 2013, Shawn was addicted to drugs and overdosed. He was later declared brain-dead.
“They told us to pull the feeding tube to starve him to death. And if he ever came out of a coma that he was in, he'd be in a vegetative state and he wouldn't want to live like that," Malone recounted.
“We said, 'You guys are the best doctors in the world, you're neurologists, you know what you're talking about, you're speaking as the world would speak. But we know a mighty God, that is a God of miracles. And we're going to pray, we're going to fast, and we're going to give God a chance to do a healing and a miracle.'”
After 60 days in a coma, Shawn came back to life. He is now fully recovered.
"God is always faithful, and He delivered as only He can do. We made this movie just to give people hope, to encourage people, to tell people how great and faithful and awesome God is. He's a God of mercy and grace. So we just want people to know Him,” Malone stressed. “We felt like if we told our personal story, our family's story, and showed how God intervened, that it would be an encouragement to everybody.”
Chan, who's also the author of the book, Crazy Love, is a close friend of the Malone family and walked with them as their son was in the hospital. The Christian author, who shared his take on the miracle in the film, visited the hospital with one of his children and they prayed for a resurrection miracle.
In the film, Chan maintained that while the physical story of Shawn’s healing was “great," the "spiritual one is so much better.”
"People want to talk about the physical miracle, and that is amazing. But as Francis pointed out, Shawn didn't have a relationship with Jesus. He had never repented,” Malone shared. “He had been to church as much or more than anybody. He had been to youth camp, [but] he had never really embraced his faith personally.”
"Once he came out of his coma, he got right with the Lord. And it's been an amazing journey. He's continuing to seek God wholeheartedly. He's studied Hebrew. We've been to Israel a bunch of times. He's been three times," the father continued.
"We have a great love for the Holy Land. So to see him going from pursuing drugs and partying and living on the edge and getting in fights and doing crazy stuff to studying the Bible and studying Hebrew and listening to sermons and praising and worshiping God, that's a new heart, that's a transformed heart. That only comes through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. It just radically changed his life."
In “The Shawn Miracle,” Malone candidly discusses how he was largely absent during his son's childhood.
"It was humbling,” Malone revealed. “I recognized that I was a failure as a husband and a father. Yeah, I had won championships and made a name for myself in Major League Baseball. A lot of people knew me and I had reached a so-called celebrity status. But I realized, after the fact, that my family needed me. I provided their needs, I put food on the table, a roof over it, and gave them what I thought they needed. But what they needed was me.”
He added: "My priorities were out of whack. I was a workaholic. I wanted to win so bad, to be successful that I sacrificed everything, including my wife and my kids and time with them. That would be my encouragement to fathers out there. It's OK to work hard and to be diligent and do things with excellence because God's got of excellence. But we need to have balance; we need to make sure our priorities are in line. Jesus first, and then our wife and our kids. Because our responsibility to God is to be the best husband and father we can be.”
Malone admitted that “he failed at that for a long time." However, the 63-year-old father also praised God for giving him a second chance.
“He gave Shawn his life back. He gave our family a chance to be a family again. So I just praise God for just being faithful and answering our prayers and our cries to Him,” he declared.
The COVID-19 pandemic helped put things into perspective for many people, Malone noted.
"I think COVID, in many ways it was horrible and terrible for so many people. But in other ways, it made us realize what was really important and that we had to count the cost and really think about and pray about and really seek God during that time for wisdom and direction and guidance, and as to what's really important,” he explained.
"Men especially, we get things out of whack easy. We get off the beaten path and we think we're doing the right thing sometimes," he said. "But I realized now that I just need to stay in the Word more. I need to pray more. I need to serve more. I just need to surrender it all. I don't want to be lukewarm. I don't want one foot in, one foot out. It's all or nothing, and I believe it's all with God.”
Though the California native always had faith in Jesus, he lived a worldly life for many years. When playing baseball at the University of Louisville in the late '70s, Malone said he was the life of the party on campus, trying to fill his void with partying, drinking, drugs and promiscuity. It was the book The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Pealethat brought the Scriptures to life for him.
"I grew up in a religious home. I thought that I knew God, but I knew Him in my head. But I didn't have a heartfelt relationship with Him. That book opened my eyes; it removed the scales,” Malone shared.
“I had studied about God, but I didn't really know Him. He wasn't really my Lord and Savior, and that changed my life in 1979. It's been a crazy journey ever since, and I just thank God for always being there and being faithful and seeing me through some difficult times and being there with me through some very good times.”
Malone weighed in on what parents should look out for in their own children to help guide them away from a life of drugs and partying.
"We knew that [Shawn] was challenged with partying, therefore drinking and doing drugs, and we would catch him at times,” he said. “My wife is a great mom. She set curfews; she knew what they were doing. I think the key thing for us, looking back on it now, is know who their friends are. [The Bible says] that bad company corrupts good character.”
"So if they're running with partiers or people that really don't have their head on straight, just know who your kid’s friends are, that's the biggest thing,” he added.
However, Malone said that all kids at some point are going to go their “own way.” Because of this reality, parents must continue to pray.
“My wife prayed with him every night, went to church, Sunday school, Bible school, did everything. At some point, our kids have to make decisions on their own. ‘Is this faith in Jesus real? Is He real to me? Everyone has to come to that point,’” he added.
"Another thing is don't give up on your kids and don't always listen to people that are sitting in judgment or trying to shame you. Everybody has issues. Everybody has problems. Everybody struggles. We need to help each other. We need to love on each other. We need to pray for each other. We saw that when Shawn overdosed and through that whole process. There are still people praying for Shawn now and it's been years.”
Now that Malone has seen firsthand the miraculous work of God in his son's life, the thankful dad says his faith in miracles has greatly increased.
"I think there's different levels of belief. I believed because I believe the Bible is the Word of God and I believe everything it says is true,” Malone testified. “I know that there were miracles in the apostolic age. My family, we spent a lot of time in third world countries and more miracles seem to be happening in those countries, but I don't think you really, truly believe in miracles until it happens to someone close to you, or you're connected somehow to it.”
“When the person in the bedroom next door is like Lazarus, and Jesus called him out from the grave, and I see him in the bedroom every morning, that miracle is kind of confirmed or reaffirmed every morning when he gets up and I see his face and he smiles. Then I know, wow! I believed it but didn't really know what believing in miracles meant until it happened to [my] own family.”
The Malone family prayed and fasted before shooting “The Shawn Miracle” and during the filming.
"We believe that movie really is anointed. We've seen the power of God when we show that movie in churches, or at men’s groups, or at youth groups,” he declared. “There's a response because people are attracted to the light and the love of God that they see displayed in the movie.”
“The Shawn Miracle” is now streaming and is available in five languages.
"We celebrate the spiritual miracle in anybody that comes to know Jesus and has a change. They're going one way pursuing the world, they have an encounter with Jesus and boom, they repent, and now they're going the other way,” Malone said. “That to me is still a miracle! So anybody gets saved, comes to know Jesus and is born again, they're all spiritual miracles.”
Malone said he hopes to encourage viewers by sharing his family's story.
"We live in a day and age where there's a lot of challenges," he posited. "There's a lot of negativity. The culture is trying to stop people from doing things, saying things, talking about the truth, seeking truth, being who you are. This culture we're living in now, they want to cancel you for something that they don't appreciate, they don't like, even if it's the truth.
“I think being who you are, knowing your identity in God, to me, that's the key is knowing who you are in Jesus and that you're a son or a daughter of the King of Kings," he emphasized.
"You can do whatever God wants you to do. Be encouraged. Don't lose hope. There's dark times all around right now, but God is the light. He's called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Seek Him wholeheartedly, and He'll Bless you. You'll have some great and amazing opportunities. I just want to encourage you, just stay focused on Jesus because there's nowhere else to go."
Today, Malone and his family are dedicated to fighting child sex trafficking. Malone co-founded the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking in 2016 with the goal of eradicating child sex trafficking within the country.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic