You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

UNBROKEN Hits Theaters and Stirs Hearts

Brokenness War Salvation

Source: "After 'Unbroken': The remarkable story of Louis Zamperini's faith" By Franklin Graham, Published December 24, 2014 on

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-12-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:24 ; Luke 22:19

Author: Franklin Graham / Illustration Exchange


Movie fans flocked to theaters to watch the highly anticipated release of the movie "Unbroken"--the true story of Louie Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who enlisted in WWII to fight in the Pacific against the onslaught of the the Japanese. A bombardier, Louie's plane went down in the ocean where he was lost at sea, afloat on a raft for 47 days.

Nearly succumbing to dehydration, hunger, shark attacks, and storms, Louie made a deal with God to serve Him always if only He would spare his life.

Louie's life was indeed spared, but not by rescue by the US forces as he'd anticipated. Rather, he was found and "rescued" by the Imperial Navy of Japan. He was subsequently imprisoned at a string of Japanese labor camps where he suffered unbearable torture at the hands of his captors until the end of the war.

Upon his rescue and release, he was hailed as a hero. Franklin Graham recounts what followed:

For a time he enjoyed the celebrity of heroism and hob-knobbing with Hollywood. He met and married a beautiful woman named Cynthia Applewhite and life was good. But when all the glitz and glamour faded and reality set in, reoccurring nightmares of war and memories of Louie’s torture by his enemies tormented him.

To escape these horrors, Louie turned to alcohol. Pent-up anger overcame him.

His wife who genuinely loved him felt she had no choice but to divorce him. The man who had endured horrific physical and mental abuse, and emerged unbroken from the ravages of war, had succumbed to an enemy that would not let go -- himself.

In September 1949, Billy Graham was running an evangelistic crusade under a giant tent in downtown Los Angeles. Louie's wife, invited by neighbors, attended the crusade and immediately gave her life to Christ.

Her first act as a new believer was to inform Louie that she had changed her mind (and heart!) and would not divorce him.

She began earnestly inviting Louie to attend the crusade with her. Seeing the changes in his wife, he finally agreed.

Billy Graham, unaware of Zamperini's horrific experience lost at sea, and his fateful "deal" with God if He would but save his life, said these convicting words: “There’s a drowning man, a drowning woman, a drowning boy or girl lost in the sea of life.”

In that moment, Louie walked the aisle and gave his life to Christ.

Graham recounts:

When he returned home from the meeting he poured his liquor down the drain, dumped his girlie magazines in the trash, and crumpled up his cigarettes and disposed of them.

He found a Bible that had been issued by the air corps and began reading. For the first time God’s Word began to make sense to him.

This former prisoner of war had discovered the joy of freedom found in Christ and desired to pass it on to others.

Louie Zamperinis would go on to forgive even those who had held him captive, and lived the rest of his days serving the Savior who rescued his soul.


We are indeed our own worst enemies. As Franklin Graham so eloquently stated, "The man who had endured horrific physical and mental abuse, and emerged unbroken from the ravages of war, had succumbed to an enemy that would not let go -- himself." 

Until we come to that place of brokenness--not just physical, emotional or psychological, but spiritual!--we cannot receive the rescue of our souls from the One Who was "broken" for us.

"Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me" (1 Corthinians 11:24, KJV).

Illustration Exchange

Looking Behind the Mask of Laughter

Depression Laughter Brokenness

Source: "The Psychology of the Sad Clown" by Alexandra Sifferlin , posted TIME, 8/13/14

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-08-18

Scripture: Proverbs 14:13

Author: Illustration Exchange


Much has been said about the "tears of a clown"--the notion that every comic face masks a depressed or troubled soul. The truth is, the research is contradictory at worst and inconclusive at best.

“People think comedians have these really dark personalities, but a lot of people have dark personalities and most of them don’t become comedians. You actually have to be pretty well-adjusted to be successful in the world of entertainment because it’s so competitive,” says Peter McGraw, a psychology and marketing professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and author of The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny.

On the other hand, research from Oxford University published earlier this year surveyed 523 comedians and compared them to a control group:

Their finding? “The creative elements needed to produce humor are strikingly similar to those characterizing the cognitive style of people with psychosis—both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” study author Gordon Claridge, of the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology, told the BBC. He said comedians may use their act as a form of self-medication.

Suffice it to say that relentless jesting may not necessarily mask a deeper struggle within, but it is certainly possible that it might.

Case in point: Jamie Masada, a US comedy club pioneer, observed of his relationship with Robin Williams: "He was always in character - you never saw the real Robin. I knew him 35 years, and I never knew him."


As comedian and philosopher Ben Stein has so aptly observed, "We all wear masks, metaphorically speaking."

If Robin Williams' tragic death teaches us anything at all, it teaches that we must take the time--invest the energy--to look beyond the masks to the heart and soul of the person behind them. We mustn't assume a laughing face is indicative of a light heart. In fact, Scripture gives us this insightful warning: "Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains" (Proverbs 14:13, NLT).

Kissing Boo-Boos

Motherhood God's Love Brokenness

Source: "Kissing kid's owies may benefit health. Study: Soothing moms lower stress hormones tied to disease" by LiveScience, published on, 5/18/10.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-11

Scripture: Psalms 103:2

Author: Illustration Exchange


LiveScience reports, "A loving mother who kisses her child's boo-boos may be providing more health benefits than she knows." In fact, a new study indicates that, "early childhood experiences can have a lasting effect on . . . the immune reaction that is the body's first line of defense against disease. Moms who soothe a child can help reduce stress, calming the hormones that can contribute to inflammation."

The study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. Dr. Julio Licinio, editor of the journal and director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at Australian National University, said he believed it's the first study to show, at a molecular level, the influence of what many have believed to be true -- that a mother's kiss is the best medicine.

Similar research has been summarized in the Annals of Improbable Research (a lighthearted journal devoted to offbeat scientific curiosities) this way:

The data show unambiguously that kissing a wound does indeed make it better. For all types of wounds, application of osculatory pressure i.e., a kiss at the time of treatment shows ... a reduction in the average healing time of minor pediatric wounds. ...

The benefits of kissing a child's wound are, perhaps, somewhat surprising given the lack of any identifiable physiological mechanism. However, we have no quarrel with this age-old practice, and find it to be clinically efficacious.


Even adults have boo-boos. As we grow older, the scraped knees of childhood are replaced by more significant injuries like personal insult, emotional abuse, feelings of inadequacy or low self-esteem. Add to these things the self inflicted wounds of our own poor moral choices, bitterness, unforgiveness, and most of us are walking around with some pretty serious boo-boos.

The answer to these deeper maladies isn't found in a medicine cabinet, but--as in the case of a mother's kiss aptly applied to a skinned knee--in an embrace. These are wounds that can only be properly tended to by the embrace and kiss of a loving God. And that's exactly what God offers to each of us in Christ. Jesus came into this world to live and to die for us so that we might experience the fullness of God's love. In Christ, our value and self-esteem are restored. In Christ, our moral failures are forgiven. In Christ, we find the healing power of God's love.

Turns out, you don't have to be a child to benefit from the healing power of a well placed kiss.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy" (Psalm 103:2-4).

Broken Heart Syndrome Is Real

Brokenness Repentance Spiritual Life

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-17

Scripture: Psalms 51:17 ; Matthew 5:4

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

To Warm A Heart You First Have To Break It

Christmas Repentance Brokenness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-12

Scripture: Psalms 51:17 ; Psalms 34:18

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

The Devil's Work

Racism Guilt Redemption

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-06-06

Scripture: Galatians 3:28 ; Romans 2:11

Author: Mitchell Dillon

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Jesus Saves

Jesus, Savior Redemption Jesus' Sacrifice

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2020-02-01

Scripture: Acts 16:31 ; John 3:16

Author: Charles Krieg

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

My Contribution

Humility Success Quotes Praise

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2019-10-16

Scripture: Philippians 4:13

Author: Thomas Bevers

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Garage Sale Redemption

Redemption Sanctification Salvation

Contributed By: William Blosch | Date Posted: 2018-12-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:20 ; Romans 6:23

Author: William Blosch

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

What Job Knew

Humility Trust (In God) Suffering

Contributed By: Corey Sawyers | Date Posted: 2018-09-08

Scripture: Job 19:25 ; Job 40:1

Author: Corey Sawyers

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or