The king asked, “How can I help you?”
So I prayed to the God of heaven and I answered the king…
Nehemiah 2:4-5a
“I can’t save you,” says Ben Sr. to the patients at Middlemouth Security Hospital.
“But I can love you.” A scene from Let Me Have My Son.

In the process of making a film, I find myself saying early on, “The task before us is impossible. Let’s get started!” Perhaps I humor myself thinking Nehemiah of old would have nodded in understanding.
In the first chapter of the book that bears his name, Nehemiah (who was living in Susa, Persia—today’s Iran) learned that Jerusalem, the city of his birth, was lying in ruins, its walls broken down, its gates burned with fire. 
“When I heard these things,” Nehemiah wrote, “I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” Then Nehemiah had his “let’s get started” moment. He knew what he had to do. He got off his knees and went to the king.

Let’s not get the wrong idea here. This wasn’t like John D. Rockefeller Jr. going to his fabulously wealthy father for a loan to buy J.P. Morgan’s Chinese vase collection. Cupbearer to the king though he was, Nehemiah was like anyone else serving in the royal court. He took his life in his hands when appearing before the king, whose authority was absolute and unquestioned. There were no guaranteed outcomes.   That fateful day, as Nehemiah was serving the royal wine, King Artaxerxes couldn’t help but notice his cupbearer’s drawn, troubled expression. “What’s the matter, Nehemiah?” he asked. “What’s bothering you? From the look of it, this can only be sadness of heart.”   Nehemiah had his opening. “May the king live forever!” Nehemiah exclaimed. “But why shouldn’t I be sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates destroyed by fire?”   I picture the king giving Nehemiah a searching look. “How can I help you?” he asked finally.

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem's Walls, by Gustave Doré (1865)

We are told that before answering, Nehemiah prayed to the God of heaven. It must have been a “quickie” because it wouldn’t do to keep the king waiting. I wonder if Proverbs 21:1 came to mind: The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases.
“If it pleases the king,” spoke Nehemiah at last, “and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
But Nehemiah didn’t stop there. Allow me to paraphrase what followed…
And, oh yes, most gracious Sovereign, while we’re on the subject, might it also please you and the queen to give me an extended leave of absence from my work here in Susa, plus letters of safe passage across Trans-Euphrates, plus the timber I’ll need to make beams for the gates of the citadel next to the temple, and timber for the city walls, and for the residence I will occupy, etc., etc.
“And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me,” wrote Nehemiah in chapter two verse eight, “the king granted my requests.” If all of that was not enough, the king further provided Nehemiah with a royal guard of army officers and cavalry to accompany him on the three-month journey to Jerusalem. In my filmmaking analogy, I might equate that with provision of a professional film crew and state-of-the-art production equipment. Heck, let’s include per diems and production insurance. And, oh yes, catering, let’s not leave out the catering…  And, well, you get the idea.
The hard work, of course, remained to be done, and at times, the task must have seemed impossible for Nehemiah and his followers. But the Lord’s gracious hand was upon them, and when all was said and done, and the building project had its grand première, “the sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard from far away” (Nehemiah 12:43).
Five stars, folks!
Now, thousands of years on, here am I, Cristóbal Krusen of Messenger Films, likewise finishing a God-given task, appealing to you—the kings and queens of my time—to join me in getting ’er done! Will you help me finish post-production on Let Me Have My Son?
Three years ago, I stepped out by faith, resolved to “get started” on this project. From day one, it seemed an impossible task. Now, we approach the end. We’re almost there.
Here is an appetizer of what you will see in the finished film. We call it a teaser trailer. Enjoy!

Coming Soon!

O King, O Queen, may you live forever!
If I have found favor in your sight, consider this. The remaining financial need is $150,000. The editing of the film, which is already well underway, will cost $30,000. On its heels comes the expense of sound design ($35K) and the music score ($50K), followed by the creation of visual effects and color grading ($35K).
Will you help?
My prayer—short and simple—is that God will guide your heart according to his will, as he did with King Artaxerxes of old.
If you are so led, please make your tax-deductible, year-end donation to Messenger Films.
Warm regards,

I am frequently asked when the movie is coming out. Short answer is: I don’t have an exact date. I trust it will be in 2022 and you will be among the first to know! How I look forward to the day I can invite YOU to the première of Let Me Have My Son at a theatre near you!
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Cristóbal Krusen is a filmmaker and author. He founded Messenger Films in 1988.

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