Steps of Faith is a light-hearted romantic comedy about Faith Houston, a young woman who works as an accountant. All of a sudden one day she experiences a vision from God calling her to move to Red Springs, Texas, and work on a hippotherapy farm.
“Hippos” is the Greek word for horse, so hippotherapy literally translates to “horse therapy,” which has been found to be highly effective for aiding kids and young adults with special needs and disabilities. (Steps of Faith was filmed at Shadow Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center in Sulphur Springs, Texas.)
In the movie, Faith’s family and friends are shocked to hear of her plans. Instead of encouraging her, she is mocked by them. The thing is, Faith has never worked well with either children or animals and she is not even a regular church-goer. So understandably, they question her motives. Despite not having their support, Faith decides to move anyway, setting off into unknown territory to see what God has in store for her.
Although she has no relevant experience and is nervous around both horses and children, Faith is persistent and finally convinces them to hire her at Steps of Faith ranch. But it’s not quite what she expected since she has to start out in the horse stalls shoveling manure and then try to work her way up. Faith encounters challenge after challenge, both physical and emotional, but she’s determined to prove everyone wrong even while she feels deep inside that she has no business working on a farm.
When one of the children is nearly injured, Faith blames herself and runs away, questioning whether God really spoke to her or not. After all, her sister is the devout Christian in the family who attends church every week and helps the poor, so why wasn’t she the one to be called? The fact is, God has a place for every one of us, even if we’re not perfect. So the movie is realistic and most of us can probably identify with the way that Faith struggles to understand God’s plan for her life.
Bell: “When you first came here, I thought you were one of those mission seekers.”
Faith: “Mission seeker?”
Bell: “People who try to build themselves up by traveling around the world helping people.”
You know how movie trailers often make a film look better than it really is, because they purposely show the best scenes? Well, this is a rare instance when the trailer doesn’t do the movie justice. I wasn’t expecting much after viewing the trailer, but I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I even look forward to watching it again. The plot may be simple and formulaic, but it has a lot more depth than the trailer suggests.
Although billed as a comedy, most of the comedic scenes seem forced and fall flat in my opinion. I’d consider Steps of Faith more of a romance, because the best part of the movie is seeing the gradually developing relationship between Faith (Chrystee Pharris) and Marshall (Charles Malik Whitfield). The interplay between those two is so sweet!
My third favorite character is “Big Mama” (Irma P. Hall), and the movie includes an amusing reference to a TV character played by that same actress. There’s even a brief appearance by the Jackie Boyz.
With all the talk about racism these days, this movie is refreshing in that it shows cordial interactions between black and white people who don’t judge one as better than the other; they’re just different, like when it comes to their worship styles. In fact, the white church congregation learns how to liven it up a bit with the help of their new black members. This gently nudges viewers to rethink their own cultural/religious biases.
Steps of Faith is a wonderful Christian movie about listening to God and having the courage to leave your comfort zone and face your fears. The story is touching and uplifting, with nothing offensive in it. Unlike so many movies that feature dysfunctional or broken families, Faith’s parents are actually portrayed as a loving husband and wife.
You can feel good about watching Steps of Faith with the whole family, for a girl’s movie night, or even with a date. I’d especially recommend it for anyone who like horses.
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DISCLOSURE: We watched a complimentary digital screening of Steps of Faith for the purpose of writing this review.