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Faith Imagined: Ragman Directed by Dale Ward & Giveaway

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

August 15, 2010

Ragman Directed by Dale Ward & Giveaway

I arrived at a doctor's appointment, and talked with the receptionists while I waited. I could tell she was under spiritual and emotional pressure. I found out that she went to my church, and I gave her information about some ministries available to her. I was determined to give her a slice of hope and comfort before I left. I could sense that she needed something tangible, some concrete resource that would help her through this season of heaviness.

I fished through my purse, and I pulled out a book that I was currently reading. This book gave Christian insight on issues that women struggle with every day. I was so excited that I had taken this book with me! I knew this resource could shed some light into the darkness in which this woman found herself.

However, I can never forget her expression when I handed her the book. She was so disappointed! The Gallup poll says that about half of Americans are reading books; yet, there are still another half of Americans who are not (

What Christian resource could I have given this woman that would have filled her heart with God's truth in a medium that she would have embraced?

My twin sister and I recently watched the Christian short film,"Ragman," based on the classic short story by best-selling author Walter Wangerin, Jr. Director Dale Ward (4 time Emmy Award winner) does an amazing job at bringing this faith-filled story to life in a way that is relevant and tangible. This short film is beautifully directed and performed, and my heart was so full of God's beauty and love when the 18 minutes were up.

In retrospect, I wish I had the book and the DVD in my purse. I would have pulled them both out and asked the woman, "Which would you prefer?"

What if every anointed written resource was produced into visual media? I see the trend beginning, and I know why the visual complement of books is so important. God loves 100% of people, and I could only imagine that He would want His truths produced to reach both halves.

The visual concepts of the film are stunning, and each current day symbol alludes to a New Testament counterpart. You watch as the Ragman (Christ figure) walks through an inner city, exchanging people's old rags for new ones. The Ragman meets people on his way to die on a trash heap, taking their pain and sorrow on Himself and replacing it with His healing and peace.

A well-dressed man diligently follows the Ragman, learning and experiencing His character, power and glory. The well-dressed man watches as the Ragman dies for the sufferings of others, and then the man falls asleep overwhelmed with grief.

The well-dressed man awakes to find the Ragman risen from the dead, beautiful and whole again. The man faces the Ragman, takes off his nice clothes and pleads, "Dress me!"

During this final scene, I saw my heart's cry. I want to diligently follow Christ, strip myself of my selfish nature, and beg God to dress me in His glory and righteousness. I want more than forgiveness of my sins; I want to emulate Jesus. I desire for people to look at my life and think to themselves, "She definitely loves God because she's starting to live like His Son."

My love for God shapes my obedience, and my obedience shapes my Christ-likeness. I pray that we all will deepen our love for God, so that our obedience to His commands become like honey to us (Psalm 19.9-10 NIV).

"But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did" (1 John 2.5-6 NLT).

We are giving away 2 copies of Ragman. Leave a comment and you get 1 entry. State that you are a follower and get a second entry! Entry deadline is Saturday, August 21st and we will announce the winners on Sunday, August 22nd.

The film has ben awarded the TAFFY Award at the Attic Film Festival, and also Best Faith-based Film at the Cape Fear International Film Festival. "Ragman" is currently nominated for Best Drama at this summer's Route 66 Film Festival in September.

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Blogger Teresa said...

Amen! I love your writings that are expressed so beautifully by the Holy Spirit of God. There are many things I desire my heart's cry be the same, "I want more than forgiveness of my sins; I want to emulate Jesus. I desire for people to look at my life and think to themselves, "She definitely loves God because she's starting to live like His Son." You are lovely!

11:45 PM  
Blogger MTJ said...

Hi Alisa,

I stand in agreement with what you've expressed; more than obtaining forgiveness I want my life to demonstrate Christ to those I meet. Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." -- This is my heart's desire.

I also see a trend occurring in which fewer people read. I was not aware that the number of people who aren't reading books is at fifty percent. With more and more book publishers switching to digital media, I believe that number will increase.

Humans have always been stimulated by the things we see, so this is a marvelous opportunity to utilize visual media to reach those who cannot be reached through books (print and digital media).

The harvest is still ripe, laborers are needed with the passion, desire, and talent to present the message of the gospel in film (cinema and DVD), podcasts, iphone apps and video games to people waiting to be fed.

I pray the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers.

Thanks for sharing an informative post.

Blessings and peace.


5:35 AM  
Anonymous Patricia Williams said...

Alisa I share he same desire! You put it into words beautifully. Everyday, I pray & feel in my heart something so strong-I read your words and thought-that's it, that's what I feel, that's what my heart longs for!

Thank you for your writing & blog.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Stuff could always be worse said...

Yes enter me in the contest...I am a follower and do love your writings. You do have a talent, with God's anointing.

9:18 AM  
Blogger May said...

Ragman sounds like an amazing story. Let us pray that God will always be gracious to us and bless us as He always walk beside us. Thanks for this uplifting message.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Braley Mama said...

It is amazing how many believers I run into who don't like to read. We read the bible, so I would assume that gives them more passion for reading. But alas, we are all not made like me:O)

10:39 AM  
Blogger Braley Mama said...

i follow u sister!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Deborah Ann said...

How surprising that the receptionist was disappointed with receiving a book! Maybe she was hoping for money? Who knows. Maybe for some people it's too much work to read a book. Even with the internet and TV, though, there's nothing like curling up with a good book on a rainy day...

The Ragman sounds awesome!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Deborah Ann said...


12:51 PM  
Blogger Together We Save said...

Following... I am so glad I found you!

2:37 PM  
Blogger Frazikat said...

I found your blog about a month ago and have checked it everyday since then. Very thought provoking and timely for me.
Please enter me for "Ragman". Thanks!
Kathy Frazier

2:57 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Wow! What a concept! I loved reading this review and would love to see it!!!

7:11 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

I am a follower and have been for a while!

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Julie@comehaveapeace said...

I was eager to watch it before I even knew you were giving away a copy. Would love to see it and then pass it on. Thanks for sharing. I love knowing resources like these ... and I'm a follower ;)

7:40 PM  
Blogger Karen said... know I am a follower and I would love to get this DVD...if I don't win, I will have to get it anyway...I first read the Ragman story in an email my dad sent me...tears burned my eyes...didn't even know it had been done on video...

Being a book lover, is hard for me to imagine anyone not wanting to read, but I know that visuals appeal to many people...I think your idea of having videos ready to share is wonderful....

8:06 PM  
Blogger Canadian Bird said...

Sounds like an amazing movie, Al. But, I'm with the person who stated "I can't imagine anyone not wanting to read." You know me... I'm a reader too. What was the book you mentioned?
Anyhow, I'm here & am a follower. Even if I don't comment much, I read & LOVE your writing. Love YOU!

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a follower and this movie sounds incredible. It sounds like the desire of my heart and a movie I would love to share with my son who has such a passion for Christ and my unsaved father.

I love your website and always look forward to receiving it.

Sweet Blessings,

9:45 PM  
Blogger Connie Mace said...

Oh Alisa,

Please know that the lady may not have thought she received what she wanted, but she received what she needed.

GOD calls us to give what we have and He will bless it.

GOD's Peace,

9:56 PM  
Blogger Connie Mace said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

I think a lot of it depends on which season of our life we are in. I LOVED reading....before I had kids. Now while I do still LOVE reading, I can hardly find the time to sit down and do it with 3 small children running around.
It is definitely something I wish I had more time to do.

3:13 AM  
Blogger petrii said...

This movie sounds like a beautiful extension of our Christ. I would love a copy and yes I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I as well, want my life to emulate Christ. I've been praying that I would literally be His hand extended; that others would see Him and not I.

Thank you for your blog and this give away.....

Love and hugs,

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too want God to dress me in His glory and righteousnes!!
I have been looking for a book lately to take to work with me to read on my breaks. This would be perfect.
I'm also a follower.
lourdesfay at gmail dot com

11:27 AM  
Blogger Amie B said...

what a beautiful story - and obedience to following inspiration.

i blogged about following inspiration today - and have a pay it forward challenge. i hope you'll stop by!

11:53 AM  
Blogger Bernadine said...

I've never heard of Ragman but it sounds like a beautiful movie.

I can't understand why more people don't read. I still love receiving books as gifts.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Gina said...

You came highly recommended to me by my friend, Robin. I am new to faith and have been trying to let my life change the way the Lord want its to. I truly enjoy reading your writings. You have an amazing gift! Your writings have so much insight and are very inspirational. Thank you for them!

I am a follower.



7:23 AM  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

This year, I have truly come into my own close walk with Jesus Christ. He has navigated me through decisions and circumstances that have led to enormous growth. My pastor was 59 years old when I met him; today he is 84 and recently shared this with me: "Today God has you precisely where He wants you. There is no luck, fate or chance that governs you". The future for the world is Christianity and the full acceptance of Jesus Christ!

I am a follower!

In Jesus' Name,

12:22 PM  
Blogger Dean Spencer said...


My heart sank when I read how the receptionist was "disappointed" in your gift. I tried to reconcile this somehow with the understanding that you were giving out of love but yet ultimately missing the mark.

I don't believe any of our efforts, when done in the spirit of love for Christ is ever done in vain. God can still use that. But it is amazing that there are so many who either don't want to read or can't read.

I'm not an avid reader either, but force myself to read because I want to be informed. Most of all through the Bible.

I know those who use audio tapes to listen to the Bible. So, I can understand how God can use multiple venues to bring across His message. When they're all done for the glory of God, they will all have an impact. I believe that.

Thanks for sharing this and helping us to see the variety of ways to reach people with God's love.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Family, Money and Stuff said...

Hi Alisa. That sounds great! Is it just me, or are you beginning to share more personal experiences? ;) Great stuff. Those real-life God moments ... I just love them.

I'm challenged by what you write "My love for God shapes my obedience, and my obedience shapes my Christ-likeness." Whoa.

I've also been praying that my love for God will be deepened. Do you think that we love Him to the degree that we understand His love for us? I'm struggling with that right now I think - believing that He truly loves me and 'delights' in me. A) I don't know what that looks like in real life B) How could he? I'm selfish, prideful, judgmental ... etc etc etc...

Tough to understand.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Family, Money and Stuff said...

Oh - and I'm definately a follower!!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Shauna Renee' said...

As always, Alisa, the Holy Spirit has anointed you. Love, love, love this post. AND I'm a follower. I put a link to your post at my blog, nursemom's musings

Thanks for being such a faithful follower of His Word.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Angel @ Finding The Inspiring said...

This sounds amazing. Thank you from a new follower. :)

2:53 PM  
Blogger Reading in the Dark said...

I haven't had a chance to see this DVD, but it sounds awesome. And I agree with you; we should embrace multiple ways/mediums for spreading God's message.

11:42 PM  

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