Awakenings (1990)

Premise/idea review of Awakenings (1990) from a Christian perspective. God has left us with the resources in the world to use for the continuation of life. The ‘wonder’ drug L-DOPA seemed to be a gift from God in the 1960’s. Awakenings s about how doctors used L-DOPA to awaken catatonic patients after years of being ‘asleep’.

In a hospital in the Bronx, the patients had been catatonic for thirty or more years. They were unresponsive to stimuli, but aware. Doctors tried to improve their lives by heightening their responses to humans and their environment.

One doctor thought he struck the answer with the L-DOPA drug. One patient, Leonard, improved markedly, with his response range enabling him to do normal things in life.

So, here, God the Creator of all good things is working in creation with human beings like doctors to bring healing. Medical drugs have their basis in the basic ingredients of the planet and they are refined for outcomes such as healing.

It shows God at work in the world. When God created the world, the planetary resources were at every human being’s disposal. God said to use the things given for the benefit and betterment of all human beings. To do this, people had to explore, discover, and uncover the things that could be used for good in God’s world.

According to Awakenings, the drug L-DOPA had limitations as patients went back to their catatonic state. It was frustrating for doctors.

But somewhere in God’s world there may be an answer. As doctors uncover and discover, the continuing work of God’s general grace in the world can come to the surface through the work of good scientists who seek to eliminate suffering and offer healing medications.

The search for more life goes on—and life can be there as the awesome God who created the world has given us recreative potentialities and possibilities.


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