Saved by Grace: Nothing Happens by Accident

John FarrellBy John Farrell6 Minutes

The LORD has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble (Proverbs 16:4, NRSV).

God has a master plan. Everything and everyone has a purpose and they are according to God’s grand scheme … from the smallest mustard seed to the largest mountain to a chance encounter. We may not know the purpose, but God does, and He will unveil that purpose when He’s ready … when the time is right.

God’s intentionality takes the forefront in the charming 2016 film, Saved by Grace, starring Joey Lawrence (“Blossom,” “Melissa & Joey”) and Catalina Rodriguez (“Watch Over Me,” Cougars Inc.). When Rick (Lawrence) first meets Grace (Rodriguez) in the park, it’s easy to assume that it’s coincidental, but God probably has His hand in it. Unbeknownst to Grace, Rick drove to the park that day to commit suicide. But then Grace stepped in, literally.

A Dark Day

Five years earlier (to the day), Rick – a police officer – lost his wife Jenna (Candice Michele Barley, “Fear the Walking Dead”) during a home invasion. Rick had helped put Sam Jenkins (Michael Joiner, The Grace Card) behind bars for fourteen years but then he was diagnosed with cancer and was sent to the hospital. It didn’t take long for Sam to find a way out. Once out, the first person he visited was the person responsible for his incarceration and destroying his life, Rick.

When Rick wasn’t home, Sam took Jenna hostage and waited for Rick to arrive. Shortly after Rick returned home there was a brief scuffle where Sam’s gun went off, firing three shots (striking Rick’s knee and killing Jenna and Sam).

On the fifth anniversary of Jenna’s death, Rick’s life has gone downhill. He’s estranged from his teenage son Luke (Zachary Legende, Arsenal), left the police force, and is extremely bitter at the world and God.

However, God has a way of placing people that you need – even though you may not know it – in your path. First, is Jeremiah – a homeless man from the shelter where Jenna used to volunteer. When they meet for the first time, Jeremiah is rummaging through Rick’s trash at the end of the driveway. A little later that day, Rick runs into Jeremiah’s shopping cart with his SUV as he’s trying to cross the road.

Rick: What are you doing in the middle of the road? I mean … I could .. two seconds later.

Jeremiah: We’re all where we’re supposed to be at any given time.

Rick: I can’t say the same for your cart.

Jeremiah: (laughing) Don’t that feel good?

Rick: What? What? What’s that?

Jeremiah: When’s the last time you had a good laugh like that, Rick?

Rick: I couldn’t even tell you.

When Grace Enters

Between his two encounters with Jeremiah, Rick meets Grace when she knocks on the driver-side window of his SUV. At wit’s end, Rick had driven to the park – where he had proposed to Jenna years before – to commit suicide. As he’s preparing himself, Grace interrupts and asks for a ride to see her family. Neither have a phone on them to call a taxi so he begrudgingly agrees to take her.

Their simple journey across town becomes a stroll down memory lane. During their day together they make stops at a Latin and Ballroom Dance Studio. Both Grace and Rick have been there before with their significant others. It is where Jenna taught Rick to dance before their wedding, and it is where Grace and her husband went to dance.

But is there something else bubbling just below the surface of their day together? While Rick eventually warms up to Grace and lowers his guard, will it grow into something more? Though you have to watch the movie for answers to those questions, it’s obvious that Rick needed an intervention in his life and that’s when Grace stepped in … and grace.

Saved by Grace is a sweet, heart-warming movie that your whole family will enjoy. While Rodriguez and Lawrence didn’t win any awards for their performances, they had great chemistry and were both charming and authentic in their portrayals of Grace and Rick, respectively. It may have a tinge of sappiness, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with its preachiness. The twist at the end, while believable, will surprise those unsuspecting viewers, making it a must-watch movie to the end.

And just like the other events in Saved by Grace (and everything that happens in our lives), it didn’t happen by accident.

Learn more about Saved by Grace 

If you need help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (toll-free): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

For more information go to

You can also find resources and help at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention