There is this movie I saw. I thought it could bless you, so I have a summary of it here. It would be good if you can see the movie or read up the real life story online. It’s grace all the way. It’s the story of the Atlanta hostage heroine.
Warning: This is a fairly long post but it’s worth it.😀
It opens up with a mother and daughter having some swell time playing dress up together.
Ashley Smith wakes up from her sleep, and is agitated by that dream she had. She sniffs in some drug.
The next scene is an addict recovery group meeting. She confesses to loosing everything due to her addiction.
“Each time I take it, I tell myself this is the last time but then I just can’t stop. I like it too much”
She needs to go through the recovery group process to gain custody of her daughter again.
After the meeting, the moderator meets with her and asks her how long she’s been clean. She fidgets and says two days . The moderator encourages her and gives her a book by Rick Warren ‘the purpose driven life”
“I want you to know you can’t do this alone”.
The woman leaves and Ashley waits a minute before throwing the book in a bin and leaves. The woman is really not far away, she hears the sound as it falls in the bin and comes back.
At another location, a suspect is brought to court for judgement to be read. He is in handcuffs. He is required to put on a suit before his appearance in the court. He is led by a female police officer to the cell where his clothes are.
Once in the cell, the moment the handcuffs are off, he hits her, not once, not twice, repeatedly. He steals her gun and radio and leaves.
He goes to the courtroom and shoots the honourable judge, the court reporter, and a sergeant. He also shoots a federal agent who runs after him to stop him. He escapes.
Ashley turns up late at work the next day, her boss complains then hands her a package delivered that morning. She opens it and it’s the book again: The purpose driven life.
The murder case is turned over to a detective. He and his team work tirelessly to locate the killer on the loose.
Brian, the killer, goes to his former girlfriend’s house to peep in the window at a baby.
He has a newly birthed son, Christopher. His lawyer had informed him just two days earlier.
The focus is back on Ashley Smith. Her daughter’s custody was granted to her aunt. Ashley is prepared to recieve her girl back.
Ashley puts her house in order because her daughter would be moving in soon.
She discovers some drugs in the process, and instead of flushing it out in the toilet, she gets high on it.
It’s 2:30am and she goes to get a cigarette in her car. The killer, Brian, who has been in the neighbourhood attacks her and holds her hostage. He is armed and quite violent. He has two guns and a knife. He discovers she has a daughter somewhere and uses that as a threat to her.
Her legs and hands are tied for some time.
Along the line, they talk a bit and she learns about his new son too.
Through the police radio with him, the detective speaks with him for a while. Brian breaks the radio in anger. Restless from the conversation with the detective, he asks Ashley for weed. She gives him methamphetamine. The same drug that has taken a lot from her. He tells her to have a go first, but she refuses. He sniffs in a lot and goes hysterical. He is so hysterical, she is afraid and tries escaping through her bathroom window but she can’t. At some point he recovers his senses a bit. Asks her why she didn’t sniff it in herself. He holds her at gunpoint and asks her to, whilst questioning it’s content. She refuses, not wanting to continue down that life path.
He let’s her be, untying her. She goes to read a book, The purpose driven life, he asks her what the title is, then requests she reads it aloud.
As the day dawns, she does some cooking because he is hungry. He asks what assistance he could offer and helps her put up a mirror. She is suprised. When they settle to eat, she reads from the book again at his request. She reads:
“God deserves your best. He shaped you for a purpose and he expects you to make the most of what has been given to you”.
“I haven’t been given anything” he replies
“You have a son” she says.
“I’m never going to see him again, anyway”
“If you stop what you’re doing and give up yourself. Maybe you will”
From the book:
“Fear is a self imposed prison that will keep you from doing what you want to”
Ashley looks at the time and decides she must leave. Its 9:00am and she is to meet her daughter. She tells Brian she can’t disappoint her daughter again after all the things that have gone wrong in her life. She walks towards the door slowly. She keeps looking back, he says nothing. When she is at the door, he asks her to come for something she would need. Her cell phone battery which he had seized. She gets it and runs to her car. She’s just been released from a seven hour hostage situation. She drives a bit then calls 911. She cries, still shaken.
Brian waits in the house and soon he hears the sound of an helicopter hovering above. Police officers surround his house with various snipers and gunmen. He is asked to surrender.
When he doesn’t, Ashley is invited to say something to him over the megaphone.
Brian, it’s Ashley. I came back.
It’s not too late Brian. Brian, there is purpose in your life . It’s time. Do the right thing Brian.”
He paces for so long then he dials his former girlfriend’s number and leaves a message for his son and requests that he be allowed to listen to it when he is old enough.
Brian surrenders outside and is taken away.
Ashley is prevented from stepping into her house yet. Yellow duct tape is used to seal it off. She stands behind the tape and sees the disarray that is her house. All in one night. Just like her life was once in disarray. She sees the mirror he hung on the wall and She knows grace has visited her.
She gets reunited with her daughter.
At the close of the movie, its written that:
“Ashley has been drug free since that night of her ordeal.
She has been a celebrate recovery leader, helping others who struggle with addiction…
Brian Nichols is currently serving multiple life sentences without the possibility of parol.
While prison rules prohibit Brian from seeing his son until he is 18, Brian hopes to someday meet him.
Ashley and Brian have not seen each other since trial.
At the close of the movie, there is a clip of Ashley’s interview on Oprah’s show. Rick Warren, author of the purpose driven life, is also present.
Ashley recounts the tiring ordeal and her thoughts on giving the killer holding her hostage drug to get high on, that night:
“What have you just done. You have just offered the thing that ruined your life and made you crazy to a killer. You’re dead now”
I think there are a lot of great lessons in Ashley life. One of them is ” you don’t have to be perfect to be used by God. If God only used perfect people, nothing would be done because none of us is perfect
The other one is, no matter how bad your problems are, God’s purpose is bigger…Everybody is looking for hope. When people are going through a crisis, they are looking for hope”
The movie is dedicated to the victims of Brian Nichols.
Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more Romans 5:20
It turns out the real life story is a bit different from the movie’s portrayal.
In the movie, God worked in and through Ashley who had no faith in him. That signified the end of the addictive hold. It signified the surrender of a terrible killer. She found saving grace.
Dear reader, can you and I partner with God well enough that he uses our little effort, the book we present to someone in dire need, to reproduce grace in that life?