First posted at PoliNation.
A couple of days ago, Angelina Jolie recorded a video message distributed by Universal Pictures to explain why she would be conspicuously absent from promotional events prior to the release of her movie Unbroken on Christmas Day. She was stricken with Chicken Pox, apparently, during this critical time in the weeks before the release of the movie marking her directorial debut – a time usually filled with numerous high-profile interviews and studio events.
Just days before, stories like this one by Chrissythehyphenated, circulated about a desperate prayer made by Jolie during the final day of filming in Australia. The prayer was made very publicly and on her knees in front of the entire film crew and cast on set. Reportedly, the prayer was answered, because the rain stopped and director Jolie received just the exact amount of sunlight she needed to complete filming, and no more.
Few religious people can count on receiving this kind of spectacular response to a publicly-made prayer, but Jolie is very openly irreligious. Though she has expressed recent willingness to believe in a universal benevolent power, she’s never admitted to belief in a personal God who would be able to hear – or respond to – human prayer. This has resulted in some friction at times with her famous father, actor Jon Voight, who is a devout Catholic and has even played Pope John Paul II on the big screen.
Though once estranged, Jolie is currently close to her father. I wonder how their conversations are going while she convalesces. Are they discussing God’s sense of humor? Or perhaps his capacity to remind us that we are not in control? It seems to me that as we speculate on the nature of God, we should not be surprised when he attempts to explain himself to us, even if he does it by taking away something we want very badly right after he gives us exactly what we need.