September 28, 2006

Shadowlands

A couple days ago, I watched the movie Shadowlands. The movie stars Anthony Hopkins, who plays Clive Staples Lewis, or Jack as his friends called him. This biography of sorts, focuses on Lewis' relationship with Joy Greshem, an American woman who first was merely a fan and pen-pal but later became a beloved wife to Jack.

I had heard that Shadowlands was a good movie and am happy to say that I was not disappointed. I have read quite a bit about C.S. Lewis and found the movie to be very accurate. Hopkins was at the top of his game, portraying the extremely intelligent and reserved Lewis. On par with Hopkins was Debra Winger, who played Joy Greshem.

A very interesting thing about the movie was that it gives viewers a glimpse into the extremely intellectual and scholarly environment that Lewis lived and worked in at Oxford University. It was just really neat to see the environment that C.S. Lewis lived and worked in and how "things were done" at that time.

I don't want to give away the story (though even the most rudimentary research into the life of Lewis would reveal the climax of the movie), but I was especially impressed by Hopkins' portrayal of the extremely grief stricken Jack, who is dealing with the truth of God's sovereignty even over circumstances that cause His children much pain. We see C.S. Lewis as a fallible man; as a person who, when presented with suffering, must either run from God in anger or run to Him in humility.

In his book The Problem of Pain, Lewis writes, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is a megaphone to rouse a deaf world." If only we, when confronted with pain and suffering, would cry out to God "What do you want me to learn from this Lord? Teach me to rely on you for everything my Father!" instead of "God, why are you doing this to me? Why couldn't you just give me a comfortable life and leave me alone?"

God has spared me from serious suffering in my short life thus far. For that I am thankful and I praise God. However, I do expect it someday. It is one of God's most power methods for drawing us closer to Himself. And that is our goal, is it not? To be conformed into the image of Christ, entering into a deeper and deeper relationship with Him every day? If so, we should not fear and dread pain, but instead embrace it when it comes. This does not mean that we go looking for it, but instead we look for God in suffering, rejoicing that we are being "purified by fire," drawing closer to the righteousness that we already have in Christ (James 1:2-4).
"We are like blocks of stone, out of which the sculptor carves the forms of men. The blows of his chisel, which hurt us so much, are what makes us perfect." - C.S. Lewis

1 comment:

Miriam said...

God is doing good things in your heart Matt. I am so thankful.