By Editorial Staff
Published June 1, 1989
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (FR) – Some Hollywood columnists have called her a profit-hungry writer cruelly capitalizing on the mistakes of her movie star mother. But Barbara “B.D.” Hyman says she hopes that her mother will be able to experience the saving power of Jesus Christ, and she continually prays for her.
After publishing her first book, My Mother’s Keeper, which chronicled her life with film legend Bette Davis, Hyman wrote a sequel, Narrow is the Way, which is the story of her faith in Jesus Christ. The first book was written “as a plea for her to hear me before it was too late,” Hyman said. “I also believe that it gives an insight into aspects of her struggles that are of interest.” Her faith in Jesus Christ, she said, helped her cope with the subsequent publicity surrounding the controversial book.
Although to date Bette Davis has not become a Christian, and rarely communicates with her daughter, Narrow is the Way echoes B.D.‘s hope for salvation and reconciliation with her mother.
Five turbulent yet peaceful years have passed since B.D. and her husband, Jeremy, became Christians. Both of their sons, Justin and Ashley, are also Christians. Their conversion from agnosticism began when a Christian businessman unexpectedly visited them during the winter on their farm in Pennsylvania. “A man came to the door to deliver books for the Chamber of Commerce, and I agreed to buy one. It was the middle of winter, so we invited him in.” Mr. Serafino Fazio, a West Virginia businessman and outspoken Christian, was “half frozen,” and starved for outside company when they invited him into their home.
“We were bored and decided to bait the holy roller,” said B.D. “If there was one thing Jeremy liked more than prying into other people’s business, it was cornering holy rollers and arguing with them.” Educated in England, Jeremy Hyman went to church six times a week and twice on Sunday when he was a child. “He liked to say that he had not graduated from school but had escaped from church. But he and I were devout agnostics and considered religion to be for people who needed something to lean on. We only went to church for weddings, funerals and the odd christenings and were happy to keep it that way.”
B.D. related that they tried to trick the Christian gentleman with loaded questions. “We asked Serafino three questions: ‘Who do I have to give money to?,’ ‘Who’s church do I have to join?,’ and ‘What kind of religion is this?’ He didn’t quote any scripture, but said that Christianity wasn’t a religion because religion is man-made. We didn’t have anything in common, but invited him over for dinner a few times until he had to return to his office in West Virginia.”
The businessman sparked Mrs. Hyman’s curiosity about Christianity and she began watching “The 700 Club” and reading the Bible. “I was interested, but I wasn’t doing anything about it until a few weeks later,” she said. “It was 7:20 a.m., and I had just put my son on the bus. Suddenly, I was surrounded by the presence of Jesus and felt urged to make a solid commitment to Jesus Christ. I made a commitment, but didn’t tell Jeremy about it.”
She told her husband two nights later about her decision, but he viewed it as a temporary, emotional experience. “It was strange because we had been married for 20 years and this was the first time I stepped out and did something before my husband. We discussed Jesus a lot, and I asked him what it would take for him to believe. He said if I got healed of my back condition then he could believe.”
B.D. lived on pain pills and had a rare disease which rotted the ligaments in her back and caused them to literally wither away. “I was watching Pat Robertson on ‘The 700 Club’ when he began to pray for someone with my condition,” she explained. “He described my age, location, and back problem. The show had a one week tape delay, but I knew it was me he was talking about. I claimed it and was instantly healed!”
That same day she did some heavy lifting in her barn, and realized that she was healed. “I didn’t take any pills, and by the end of the day I did calisthenics. I was exhausted. But at home, when my husband Jeremy looked at me, he got teary-eyed and said, ‘The Lord is real.’ “ He soon became a Christian as a result of the miracle.
B.D. said her mother responded to her newly found faith by asking questions about Christianity. She even watched a few segments of “The 700 Club” because of her daughter’s testimony. However, the rift in their relationship continued to grow as B.D. grew in her faith. Eventually her mother stopped writing or calling her. In the meantime, the Hyman family moved to the Bahamas and joined an Assembly of God Church.
After a whirlwind three-week book tour for Mother’s Keeper, in which she was interviewed by U.S.A. Today, People, television talk show hosts, newscasters, and radio reporters, she returned to the Bahamas and began writing the sequel. “I wanted everyone, particularly Mother, to know that joy, to know that oneness with the universe and its Creator. It suddenly became important that I write to my mother. My book was in stores everywhere but it wasn’t enough. I had to let her know where I was and what I was doing. I had to remind her that nothing was over unless she wanted it to be over. I had to write to her and keep on writing.
“She wouldn’t answer my letters – I couldn’t even be certain that she would read them – but it was important to tell her that I loved her. Perhaps she would save the letters and take them out in moments of loneliness. She would know that I was still thinking of her. I wondered whether she would be angry that my life was better than ever and so full of joy. Would she try to figure out why? Was there really a chance that something, sometime, would awaken in her the knowledge that there was a gaping lack in her life?
“… What can convince her that we have to measure up now in order to inherit the future? What can convince her that fame cannot work a ticket to heaven, that Oscars will not fit the keyhole? What can possibly convince her that the only way is to say, ‘I accept you, Jesus, as my personal Lord and Savior?”
“I don’t know what will convince her, and it doesn’t matter that I don’t know. God knows … I won’t preach – I won’t even try to witness – I’ll just let her know what’s going on in my life and that I love her. Publishing my book has solved my problem but not hers. Praying for her isn’t enough. The least I can do is give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to work in her through the expression of my love.”
Today, B.D. and her family reside in Charlottesville, Virginia and her husband, Jeremy, is an illustrator of children’s books.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Arts and Media
Your comments are welcome!
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)