Musician Matt Hammitt Talks New Documentary About Son’s Third Open-Heart Surgery: ‘It’s The Work of Christ’
By Movieguide® Staff
Christian artist Matt Hammitt recently reflected on the power of God’s faithfulness and the new documentary, BOWEN’S HEART, about his son’s severe heart condition.
“This feature-length documentary film follows Bowen Hammitt through his third major open-heart surgery as his parents struggle with the hope that the surgery could make his life better and the knowledge that it could make things much worse,” the description of the movie reads.
Bowen was eight at the time of the third open-heart surgery; now, he is 11. Most children with his condition—Hypoplastic left heart syndrome—don’t make it past the infant stage.
Despite the vulnerability of their story, Matt said that he wants their family’s testimony to give God glory.
“My wife and I really want to take the story God’s given us, and to steward it well and share it with others,” he told The Christian Post in a recent interview.
“I love it when the Bible says that we overcome with the power of our testimony and the blood of the lamb. It’s the work of Christ, number one, that overcomes the darkness in our lives,” he continued. “But there is also power to our words and our testimony, telling others about what God has done, that is undeniable. We hope that as we show this testimony, it does continue to reach people.”
Now, after his third major surgery, Matt said that Bowen is thriving.
“It’s really incredible to see how much he is thriving,” he recalled. “When we made the film, he was eight, about to turn nine. But we expected the film to come out sooner but the pandemic happening and the whole world shut down. So we lost a good year and a half of figuring out that journey. God had his plans. Bowen is 11 now. ”
“Time has flown by, and the good news is that after this third surgery he had when he was 8, which was represented in the film, he’s really been thriving. Every check up we’ve had, the doctors feel really good about where he’s at for his condition,” he added. “It is something that we will have to continue to navigate and pray for his health, and watch over him, but we are really blessed.”
A theme that the documentary tackles is faith despite trials and suffering. Matt and his family are honest about the struggle and eventual peace that comes from trusting God’s plan.
“It’s easy to say that God is good when things go the way we planned, but what about when things don’t go the way we had planned?” he said. “When we experience that pain of not getting the miracle that we hoped for or prayed for, working through what that feeling of suffering does inside of us when we give it to Christ, as hard as it is, it does produce character and perseverance inside of us. It produces hope inside of us. But that pain serves as a contrast in our lives that when we do get the miracle we become so grateful for what God has done.”
Matt confessed that God had taught him valuable lessons about his heart, even in how he cares for Bowen.
“I realized before Bowen was born, I heard God [reveal] to me, that I had been building a wall between me and my own son, unwilling to fully accept and embrace, or love him with my whole heart, because I was afraid that he was going be taken away from me,” he said. “I remember feeling like he was saying to me, ‘Is that the way that I love you? Did I build a wall between us? Did I withhold my love?’ No, God gave everything for us, he gave his own son, he tore down the walls, he sacrificed to be close to us even though his heart would be broken as well.
“He was telling me that I needed to love my son in the very same way,” he added. “Only by God’s grace can we continue to say yes in those hard situations, and that would be my challenge to people watching: Can you press into God’s grace enough to be able to say, ‘Yes, keep giving your heart, even when it hurts.'”
Despite the mystery of trial and tribulation on this earth, Matt encouraged people to hold fast to what is true, and believe that God’s love will pull you through and refine your heart.
Matt said: “I love the proverb that says we will toss the dice but He will say where they land. We want to say, ‘This is the way, this is what we want to do in our lives, this is how it will go.’ But God often says, ‘No, this is how it will go.’ And it’s not our job to always understand, but it’s our job to be able to say, ‘You are God, I am not, and I trust you.'”
“When we live our lives that way, that mysterious piece that the Bible talks about, that transcends all understanding, comes into our hearts and lives. That hope and that peace that is not explainable, becomes the evidence that it’s worth embracing the mystery and trusting God in all of it,” he added.
Matt is not the only one with a talent for songwriting and singing, but Bowen will often join his father on stage to worship their God together.
A list of streaming platforms that are streaming BOWEN’S HEART is available at Bowensheart.com.