Denzel Washington Put Pleasing God First in ‘Journal for Jordan’


When Dana Canedy gave Army 1st Sgt. Charles M. King a journal in late 2005 to write a few words of advice to their unborn son, she said she expected only a page or two from her shy, reserved fiance. 

King, a nearly 20-year veteran of the force by this time, was heading off on yet another overseas deployment, his last before retirement. Canedy, who was a few months pregnant, wanted to have the words “I love you” written on a page beside King’s name, just in case something happened. What Canedy got was page after page of loving insight that she and their son, Jordan, would hold dear for the rest of their lives.


A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN - Final Trailer (HD) | Now in Theaters and On Demand


King’s words went on to inspire a bestselling book called “A Journal for Jordan,” with a movie of the same name that was released for Christmas 2021 and was directed by Denzel Washington, who said he hoped to “please God” with the project. Speaking to the Religious News Service, he said the following:


“The spirit of God is throughout the film,” Washington told RNS after admitting that he often led prayer circles on the set. “Charles is an angel. I’m a believer. Dana’s a believer. So that was a part of every decision, hopefully, that I tried to make. I wanted to please God, and I wanted to please Charles, and I wanted to please Dana.”

The movie stars Michael B. Jordan as real-life Iraq war veteran Army Sergeant Charles Monroe King, who was killed in action in 2006. His wife,  New York Times writer Dana Canedy, wrote an article about a journal King wrote that he left behind for their son that detailed the fallen soldier’s deep faith. Canedy’s article was eventually reworked into the book that forms the basis for the film that Washington signed on to direct.


NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 09: Michael B. Jordan and Denzel Washington attend the world premiere of “A Journal For Jordan” at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on December 09, 2021 in New York City. Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Sony Pictures


The 67 year old actor also added that the “spirit of God” is an important part of the film. The director also helped build the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, and is very mindful about putting God first in his life and work.


“I try to make sure I try to put God first in everything. I was reading something this morning in my meditation about selfishness and how the only way to true independence is complete dependence on the Almighty”.


Washington has been increasingly outspoken about spiritual issues in recent years, most recently telling men at a Christian men’s conference to pray daily, “listen to God,” and remember that “strength and leadership” are “God’s gift to us.”

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Jamison Ashley

Comic geek, movie nerd, father, and husband - but not necessarily in that order. Former captain of this ship o' fools secretly training everyone's computers and snarkphone spell-checkers to misspell 'supposebly.'