I readily admit to being a Tom Hanks fan. In my opinion he is an outstanding actor, and the universal acclaim he receives is well deserved. You only need to watch Forrest Gump to appreciate that! It should come as no surprise then, to discover that his name has real pulling power. Indeed this celebrity factor was clearly evident in the reaction I witnessed to the recent story about his son Chet’s ‘life changing encounter’ with God.
I must admit I was hugely encouraged when I first began to read his story because I am always thrilled to hear of people coming to faith, whatever their family pedigree and whatever their religious background. I was especially delighted to find that his encounter with ‘the divine’ had had such positive impact on his life too. Things can only get better when anger and hate are replaced by hope and peace and love.
But the more I read the more I began to wonder how much Chet Hanks knows about the Christian faith or whether he had simply realised that God is no figment of the imagination. Comments such as these have raised questions for me.
“It was at that moment,” he said, “that was the birth of my spiritual life, that was when I was overcome. I knew, OK, no, there is something else out there. There is a higher power, there is a higher intelligence because it felt like it just tapped me on the shoulder.”