I had the opportunity to see Jim Caviezel in person yesterday at a local church. Being a huge fan of his, I arrived an hour early with my eldest daughter and several friends so we could get front row seats. We were all so excited, we probably seemed like groupies! If you don't know who Jim Caviezel is, he played Jesus in the Passion of the Christ along with an assortment of other great movies, The Count of Monte Cristo, Frequency and more recently Deja Vu. When he came out on stage, he was no more than five yards from me, and the very first thing I noticed about him was his humility. The huge audience was on their feet clapping and cheering and he had his face down as if he were embarassed.
He answered all the pastor's questions in a quiet calm tone and never once tried to glorify himself or his accomplishments. Before I went, I assumed he must have some faith in God, but I was surprised to find he possesses a very strong commitment to Jesus.
He has a very calm, passionate personality that puts people at ease and I began to understand why he was chosen for the role of Jesus. He said he prayed everyday when he was doing the filming. During the scenes when he was hanging on the cross, he had to get up at 2:00 am so they could put the makeup on him for 4 hours. Then another 5 or so hours up hanging on the cross during winter. He said that he was freezing, got hypothermia, dislocated his shoulder and had an allergic reaction to all the makeup. Not to mention that when they shot the lashing scene, he was struck twice by the lashes. So, he was in pain during those scenes. I would have liked to have heard more about the spiritual battles that must have gone on during the filming but the pastor never asked him.
Here's a few things Jim said that really struck me personally
Get alone, away from the electronic devices and the people and listen to God. There are three voices inside you. Your Ego, the Devil, and God. Two of them don't matter. Learn to tell the difference and only listen to God.
When you pray to God, don't pray with your head. Pray with your heart. God wants to hear from your heart, not your head.
At the end of the discussion, when the pastor asked him if he had anything else to say, he turned to the audience (one of the few times he looked at us) and said
I feel like God wants me to tell you that He loves you. He loves you more than you'll ever know. And he has created Heaven just for you, just with you in mind.
And it doesn't matter how famous you are here on earth or how many awards you get or how many people know your name, because when you get to heaven the only thing that will matter is that you put your faith in Jesus. And God knows your name.
He had tears in his eyes when he said this. I was quite moved. Anyway, what a blessing to be able to meet one of Hollywood's elite who as a passion for Jesus.