Because of Grácia
By Brenna Lewis
Tom Simes’s movie, Because of Grácia, follows the story of unlikely high school friends who challenge the status quo at their school in the most important way it can be. Christians at the school have become accustomed to keeping their faith hidden, including senior Chase Morgan and his favorite history teacher, Mr. Brady. Grácia Davis is a new student this year, and her arrival at Eastglenn High School proves to be the catalyst for some much-needed change.
Grácia, Chase, and his best friend O.B. begin spending every weekend together, bonding over their shared faith and openness with one another. Chase has finally found his voice when the three school bullies, to shame Grácia for her outspokenness, get Chase’s favorite teacher fired for praying on campus. While this is going on, Bobbi has had her pregnancy confirmed by the doctor and has been told her three options: parenting, adoption, and abortion. Bobbi wavers on what to do, and all seems lost when she tells her boyfriend she’s thinking about abortion. It’s difficult not to cringe when her boyfriend, having pressured Bobbi into sex in the first place, expresses relief at the thought of abortion and makes the comment: “I don’t know – you’re the one who’s pregnant!”
Perhaps the strongest underlying theme of Because of Grácia is redemption. We all make mistakes, even Grácia herself, and are all loved by God just the same. Each story is blessed with a happy ending. Bobbi and her father forgave one another after a fight and unsuccessful trip to the abortion clinic, the atheist teacher Mr. Livingston stood up for the rights of his Christian friend, and Chase forgave one of the bullies for causing Mr. Brady to lose his job – all because of Grácia.
It is a story of faith, free speech, and the courage to raise your voice when it matters most. The story cleverly foils two parallel high school relationships – one that inspires courage and personal growth, and one that culminates in an unplanned pregnancy. Especially in our society’s current state, with pregnant high schoolers being expelled or barred from graduations, this film provides a perfect example of what Christian love truly looks like. It’s no wonder that Simes chose to name his character Grace; she is a living embodiment of grace. Grácia is devout in her faith and knows abortion is wrong, but when she counsels her friend Bobbi who is in crisis, her compassion is palpable. Her loving, woman-centered approach does well to remind us all to never forget to care for a woman in turmoil.