Sunday February 24 8:00 PM / 7:00c

Episode 3003 - A Time to Speak
From the Production Journal of Brian Bird, Executive Producer of When Calls the Heart

As I read Richard Manning’s beautiful teleplay for the episode we’re about to film, which in production shorthand speak is called S3-E3 (sounds like a Star Wars character, right?), I’m reminded of the many values and virtues our little fictional town of Hope Valley has come to represent for our loyal Hearties fan base. Of course the virtue of hope is never in short supply. But in this episode, we’re going to discover that Hope Valley is also a place of grace.

As we watch the news and fret over the chaotic events of the world, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that grace has disappeared from face of the earth. Politicians squabble, incivility reigns, wars are waged, innocents are hurt, damage ensues… and grace seems to be MIA. Can a TV show about a town where hope and faith abound fix that? That’s a tall order, but perhaps not completely out of the realm of possibility. What’s that old expression… how do you save a world full of starving children? One child at a time. It’s the idea of lighting of one candle to dispel the darkness instead of just cursing it. Well, how do we save a media culture bent on cynicism and hopelessness? Perhaps one TV show like “When Calls the Heart” at a time.

That sort of e-Fangelism is what the Hearties have been doing since they burst on the scene in season one… sharing their love of the show, one friend at a time. And that’s one of the important themes Richard has written so beautifully about in this episode: a pastor losing his way, and a town overcoming its own cynicism and biases to show him grace. It all starts with one person, Abigail Stanton, who has been the recipient of grace many times in her life, now paying it forward to a man who needs it more than anybody. My hope and prayer for “When Calls the Heart” is that these Season three episodes will be like a health tonic for a soul-parched culture. Good-tasting medicine for what ails it. Because when people show each other grace on TV, or in real life, only good things can come of it. Until next episode… grace to you.

-- Brian Bird