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O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a comedy set during America’s Depression era. The story revolves around three petty criminals who escape from a chain gang. One of them, the leader named Everett Ulysses McGill, tells his companions that he has buried money from a bank robbery near his property in order to persuade them to make a run for it. But near the end of the movie, the law catches up with them, and even though they have been pardoned by the governor, the lawman who has been pursuing them is intent on hanging them. As they are about to be hanged, Everett, Delmer, and Pete stand trembling in front of a large oak, deep in the woods and far away from anyone who can help them. They turn their eyes up to the three ropes that hang from the old tree. Everett, who never had much use for God before, drops to his knees and begins to pray for a miracle from God. “Lord, please look down and recognize us poor sinners. Please, Lord, I just want to see my daughters again. I’ve been separated from my family for so long. I know I’ve been guilty of pride and short dealing. I’m sorry I turned my back on you. Forgive me. We’re helpless, Lord. Help us, please.” As Everett ends his prayer, a small stream of water begins to run around his knees. His companions also notice the water and stare at it in confusion. As the wind blows, suddenly a great wall of water sweeps away everyone and everything in its path — including the lawmen who were about to hang them. The next scene shows Everett, Delmer, and Pete gasping for air as they break the surface of the water. Delmer raises his voice yelling, “It’s a miracle We prayed to God, and he pitied us ” Everett, who just a short time was crying out to God for just such a miracle, chastises his friends as “hayseeds” for believing that it was an act of God. He says, “Don’t be ignorant. There’s a perfectly scientific explanation for what just happened.” Pete says, “That ain’t the tune you were singin’ back there at the gallows ” Everett brushes it off and says, “Well, any human being will cast about in moment of stress.”

There are many people like Everett who use God in a time of crisis and then abandon him when life seems back under their control. But the only reason we can have the confidence to ask, seek and knock is because of an intimate relationship of trust and mutual love. It is a love that follows God and obeys him.

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