I was filming my third feature film — the documentary, “Father of Lights” — and I knew I was heading into the final shoot, which was going to take place in Israel.
I also knew that I didn’t have an ending yet. I was making a movie about the character and nature of God, and I had already filmed God doing extraordinary things through a wide variety of people. But I wanted this ending to be something amazing. I wanted to film something that was truly impossible.
Two days before I left for Israel, I sat in my studio and prayed. It was a simple prayer, but one filled with belief and anticipation. “God, for the end of this film, would you please allow me to film something impossible in Israel? Something no one can ever deny. You know I don’t want this to sell more movies or to be more famous. I just want the world to see you in all of your glory and goodness.”
The shoot in Israel was five days long, and for the first three days we filmed some really cool stuff, but nothing that screamed “this is your ending!”
We then headed down to Jerusalem for the final two days, and at this point I was beginning to sweat. God, are you going to do anything?
Our final night before we left for Jerusalem, I had learned about the Dome of the Rock. Widely considered the second-holiest site in Islam, it was also the location of the original Jewish Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, where Abraham almost sacrificed his son, Isaac, and other major historical events took place.
This was obviously a prime piece of real estate. But I also learned that it was pretty much impossible for a non-Muslim to get inside (let alone a Christian filmmaker with cameras in tow).
This “impossibility” became my focus. It was the only thing I had encountered that was impossible, and that’s what I had asked God to do. So why not go for it?
So we arrived in Jerusalem, mic’d up my friend, evangelist Todd White, and away we went towards the Muslim quarter of the old city. At the Damascus gate, we encountered a man wearing a yellow shirt who was limping. Todd prayed for him, and the man’s legs and back were healed, making him obviously very, very happy. He then went his merry way.
We entered the old city and began praying for more people, all of them Muslim. People were being healed of sickness and pain left and right, and for over an hour we stood in the middle of the cobblestone streets praying for people.
Then a man approached us and asked us to follow him. Why not? We were in it pretty deep at this point anyway.
He took us to his home where his father-in-law was very sick. Todd prayed for him and the man felt a little better. I then asked if our new friend knew any way to get into the Dome of the Rock?
“It’s impossible,” he said.
“Yeah, that’s what everyone keeps telling me. But seriously, how can I get in?”
Then he looked at me for a moment and said, “I tell you what. You just blessed me, now I want to bless you. My best friend knows everyone who works at the Dome. If there is anyone in this city who might be able to get you in, it’s this guy. Would you like to meet him?”
“Yes please!” So away we went.
I followed this man through winding streets for 15 minutes, until we came to a courtyard and he called out to his friend. His friend then appeared, and in that instant I knew not only that God answers prayers, but that He is also the God of the impossible.
His friend was the man in the yellow shirt.
The next day, we walked into the Dome, cameras in tow, with the full blessing of the head of security over the Dome of the Rock. We filmed inside, and even proclaimed Jesus as Lord of all in the holy of holies there. It was, and perhaps will always be, one of the greatest events I have ever witnessed in my entire life.
And it all began with a simple prayer to an invisible God on the other side of the world.
• Darren Wilson is founder of Wanderlust Productions, a film/television production company that creates media that creatively and powerfully advances the kingdom of God around the world. His latest film, “Holy Ghost Reborn,” was released in October. To find out more about Darren and his films, visit wpfilm.com.
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