Several years ago, I watched Shadowlands and was deeply touched. The movie tells the true story of the author C.S. Lewis (Jack), who though an award-winning author, leads a relatively passionless life until he meets an American divorcee, Joy Gresham. It is the beginning of a deep love, a love that changes both of them in a powerful way, and deepens their faith in God. But their time together is short as Joy becomes terminally ill with cancer.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night afraid that something horrible has happened to someone that I love. So I pray for everyone I can think of. I reach my hand over and draw comfort from the warmth and breath of my wife who still sleeps beside me. Slowly my fear ebbs away because for another night the Angel of Death has passed over the doors of those who are closest to me. (Though I do not think it has very much to do with my prayers).
I want to pray as hard for everyone in the world as I pray for my family and friends. The Angel of Death does not always pass over. I do not want to live my life in fear. I do not want to be afraid of the pain that comes with being close to people and thereby miss the happiness that comes from their presence.
In the movie, Joy, in pushing Jack to be present to ALL of life, states: “We can’t have the happiness of yesterday without the pain of today. That’s the deal.”
We live in the Shadowlands, between the sunrise and sunset. But the sun is always present and as long as I cast a shadow, it means that I am alive. Alive to live and love and care and hurt to the fullest of my being.
That’s the deal.
(Republished fron November 2007)