By Lonnie Wilkey
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—Like any dad whose child is undergoing a major health issue, Patrick Doughtie was convinced his son Tyler would recover from medulloblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor.
Though he had doubts about God and questioned his faith at times during Tyler’s fight with cancer, Doughtie envisioned being able to give a marvelous testimony on how his son overcame cancer.
“I thought there would be a happy ending and Tyler would be cured,” said Doughtie, a member of Grace Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn.
Tyler, however, died in 2005 at the age of 9.
Doughtie acknowledged that he went through a period of depression and anger following his son’s death. During those days of dark depression, Doughtie realized his son still left a testimony through his life and his love for God.
Doughtie began to think about ways he could tell Tyler’s story and also ways to bring attention to childhood cancer. He took a screenwriting class and began writing a script for a fictional movie based on Tyler’s cancer. In fact, Doughtie intentionally wrote himself out of the movie in order to be more creative. In the movie, Tyler’s dad died prior to him developing cancer.
Doughtie’s finished product was entitled “Letters to God.”
The hardest part was then finding a production company to film and produce the movie, especially a company that would keep the faith elements in the picture.
Doughtie finally settled on Possibility Pictures. One of the company’s owners is David Nixon, a co-producer of the 2008 movie “Fireproof.”
Letters to God shows the love Tyler had for God and his faith, Doughtie said.
Doughtie’s pastor, Andre Dugger, said the film also demonstrates the importance of a loving church family in times of crisis.
Two other key elements of the movie are prayer and hope, Dugger said. In the movie, Tyler exhibits hope through his letters which are actually prayers to God.
“We are really hoping an entire new way of thinking will develop as a result of this movie,” Dugger said. “We can write letters to God as a form of praying as easily as we can talk to Him.”
The movie, Doughtie said, shows the hope that can be found only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Both Doughtie and Dugger are available to speak. For information, contact Dugger at (615) 865-6262 or at www.andredugger.com.
Lonnie Wilkey is editor of the Baptist and Reflector, newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.