The Preacher's Wife is a film about an angel summoned by "The Big Guy" in response to the petitions of the Reverend Henry Biggs and his wife Julia, played by Courtney B. Vance and Whitney Houston.

Reverend Biggs had prayed for relief from the burden of the many good deeds he had undertaken, including saving his inner-city church from real estate speculation. Although a man of the cloth and familiar with prayer, he was not prepared for the answer in the form of the angel Dudley played by Denzel Washington.

Despite showing up on cue to petitions just uttered, and even starting Reverend Biggs' stalled car in response to a direct request, Dudley has a hard time convincing Reverend Biggs that he is in fact sent by God. But an agreement of sorts is reached when Reverend Biggs decides to humor Dudley and invites him to his office for counseling.

But before Dudley can start his assignment he must go over a few rules with the Reverend Biggs. When Dudley produced "The Angel Handbook" from which he reads these rules, I was expecting great insight into the workings of spiritual beings. But he read three simple rules:

1) he could do nothing that Reverend Biggs could do for himself;

2) he could not do anything Reverend Biggs did not want him to do; and

3) when he had accomplished his assignment Reverend Biggs would have no memory of him.

Nothing complicated and really great rules when you think about it.

While watching Dudley offer assistance to Reverend Biggs despite his disbelief, the audience discovers that Julia has also prayed concerning her neglect by the Reverend--he is too busy with the problems of his parishioners to work at keeping his marriage together. Of course Dudley knows that his mission includes both Julia and Henry, and encourages Reverend Biggs to pay more attention to his wife.

All works out well, as one would expect in any Christmas movie. But there is a message here that goes beyond Christmas. The Living Bible Psalms 125:1 reads "Those who trust in the Lord are steady as Mount Zion, unmoved by any circumstance." The key here is to trust, and when Reverend Biggs finally began to trust his situation to God, and act on that trust, all things worked out.

The film really had several stars; Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Courtney B. Vance. No one star dominated the screen, but each played a significant role in making this an enjoyable and thought-provoking movie. I urge you to see it.

I've got to make a special comment on Denzel Washington.  He continues his knack for selecting films in which he plays roles of character like Philadelphia, Crimson Tide, and Courage under Fire. I hope he reads this review, and that he continues in roles the whole family can enjoy.