Falling Leaves

This parable is based on the 1912 movie Falling Leaves. It illustrates the conditions of effective prayer.

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Voice-Over Transcript

0:00 This is a parable nested within a movie titled Falling Leaves. It was shown in theaters during 1912.

0:04 Our story opens with Winifred on the piano as she and her younger sister, Trixie, sing together.

0:10 Winifred begins coughing uncontrollably and she is led from the room leaving Trixie alone and bewildered. One can only imagine the child’s feelings of helplessness.

0:25 After examining Winifred, the family doctor talks with her mom. Trixie’s presence goes unnoticed as she is listening intently. She sees the doctor motion towards the garden and hears him say: “By the time the last leaf has fallen from the trees, Winifred will have passed away.”

0:35 Trixie is clearly distraught as she says her prayers before bedtime.

0:44 She can’t sleep, so she puts on her shoes and springs into action, with a plan to save her sister.

0:50 Trixie is in the garden as she asks God to bless her efforts.

0:56 She picks up the first leaf from the ground and carefully ties it back on the tree. She works continuously through the night, to save the life of her sister, in the only way she knows how.

1:09 Just before dawn, through what can best be described as the choreography of the Spirit, a man that is passing by notices the child acting strangely.

1:20 Curiosity gets the best of him as he enters the garden.

1:24 He then asks the child what she is doing.

1:35 Trixie explains “I am tying these leaves back on the tree to keep my sister from dying.” The expression on the man’s face encourages Trixie to tell him about her sister as she acts out the symptoms of Winifred’s disease.

2:00 The man says he might be able to help and our joyful little heroine then leads him towards the house.

2:10 The man greets the mother of the girls and hands her a business card that identifies him as a bacteriologist.

2:20 (Business Card (Doctor Earle Headly – Bacteriologist)) The man explains he is a doctor and believes he has found a cure for Winifred’s tuberculosis.

2:25 He is introduced to Winifred and explains the treatment. Winifred is ready to try pretty much anything at this point. Trixie’s prayers are answered. Not because of her social, religious or economic, or status. Not because of any set formula or the meaningless repetition of words. It was because the longing look of an innocent child touched the heart of our loving, Heavenly Father. And Trixie has also taught us something about the simple prayer of faith. For it is the sincerity of a prayer that is the assurance of its being heard.

2:55 (Dissolve to AU Logo)

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