“It was prophesied that I would travel the world and preach to millions of people. It was prophesied when I was 20. I thought it was through my work and it has been.”
Every strand of hair on the back of my neck stood at attention the first time I listened to Denzel Washington deliver his speech, at Dillard University’s 2015 commencement ceremony. A customer in his mother’s beauty salon wrote on a piece of paper, “you are going to speak to millions of people, you are going to do great things.” What was a 20-year-old student at Fordham University who was flunking out supposed to do with that? It turns out that those very words breathed new life into what appeared to be a dead situation.
The body of work that Denzel Washington has gone on to create over the span of his career speaks volumes. The heart, soul, complexity, candor and appeal that his characters embody on screen and on stage deliver messages that are thought provoking, soul stirring and life changing. I cannot recall an instance where I felt compelled to demand a full refund, after watching a movie starring Denzel Washington.
Washington stars in the recently-released film “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” The film, also starring actors Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo, follows an idealistic defense attorney (Washington) whose deeply-held beliefs are shaken when an unexpected series of events challenge his passion for helping the poor and disenfranchised. While the film isn’t “faith-based,” it contains many biblical themes, including sacrifice, honor, and faith in the unseen.
It must come to pass.
It’s amazing what the power of words can do. We can find confirmation in scripture, Isaiah 55:11, where a prophetic release such as the one imparted to young Denzel would not return void. It must come to pass. “My mother said to me when I was 59, she said, ‘Denzel, you do a lot of good. You have to do good the right way and you know what I’m talking about,'” Washington continued. “I don’t drink anymore, I don’t do any of those things. I’m all about the message, to the degree that I know it, and I’m unashamed and unafraid to share it!”
“God is not a man, that he should lie.”
In that same speech, Denzel Washington emphasized his first point by saying, “put God first” because everything we see, everything he’s acquired and all that he has accomplished was gifted to him by the grace of God. He goes on to share the prophetic word that was given to him and closed by confirming the fact that he has travelled the world and he has in fact spoken to millions of people.