Thursday, March 6, 2008

Two Powerful Words

One of my favorite parts in the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium comes when Natalie Portman’s character (Mahoney) tells Dustin Hoffman (Mr. Magorium) that she doesn’t want him to die. He responds to her by saying this:

“When King Lear dies in Act Five do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written ‘He dies.’ That’s all. Nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is ‘He dies.’ It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with… ‘He dies.’ And yet every time I read those two words I find myself overwhelmed with disphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad but not because of the words ‘He dies’ but because of the life we saw prior to the words. I’ve lived all five of my acts Mahoney, and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go …I’m only asking you that you turn the page, continue reading, and let the next story begin. And if anyone ever asks what became of me you relate my life in all it’s wonder and end it with a simple and modest ‘He died.’ ….Your life is an occasion … rise to it.”

Those are two powerful words that I’m glad that I haven’t had to write here yet. And yet I’m glad that you all are participating in the part where we relate Jacob’s life in all it’s wonder… These past eight weeks truly have been filled with wonder for many of us, haven’t they?
There’s another powerful two-word passage that I think of when I watch this portion of the movie. Long before Shakespeare, THE Genius wrote in John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” The shortest verse in the Bible, yet inferior to none. The context of the passage is the story of Lazarus’ death. “When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’” (John 11:32-36)
Why did Jesus weep? The word used here for Jesus’ weeping is different from the one used to describe the weeping of Mary and the Jews in verse 33 which indicated loud wailing and cries of lament. This word simply means “to shed tears” and has more the idea of quiet grief, silent tears. Some would suggest that Jesus wept for Lazarus… his friend who had suffered and died. While this may be true, and was obviously assumed by those around the scene as evidenced by verse 36, I don’t think this was the sum total of Jesus’ tears. Besides, Jesus knew He was about to raise Lazarus back to life! Normally this would be cause to rejoice and possibly even grin on the inside… even knowing that Lazarus would some day experience death for a second time. Others have said that Jesus experienced the sorrow of the people gathered there and also felt for Mary and Martha’s grief as they had lost their brother. Again, I’m sure this plays into it, but this is not the totality of the reason for Jesus’ weeping. Some even state that Jesus wept for those bystanders who were about to witness one of the greatest miracles of all time and who would still reject Him as the Messiah due to unbelief. Possibly. Earlier in verse 33 it says that Jesus was deeply moved and troubled. These words actually reflect anger – Jesus was literally angry because He found Himself face-to-face with the greatest tangible manifestation of what Satan had accomplished in His world: death. I think that as Jesus stood and stared at that tomb He was reminded of how perfect His world was when He first made it. How pure it was – without sin, pain, fault, or death. And now, on a personal level, He was faced with grief over the effects that all these things had taken on His perfect creation. He grieved for each of us – that Satan had deceived us and how we willingly choose to reject God and how the punishment for such actions is death. He wept for each soul that would die and be separated from Him for eternity. He wept for each child who would never see the light of their birthday. He wept for those who would be ravaged by the entrance of sin into the world – for the addict, for the widow, for the lonely, for the broken, for the prideful, for the blind, for the wicked, for the despised, for the hurting, for you… and for me. Perhaps even in that moment He wept for the fact that He would go to the cross and be buried in a similar tomb for the redemption of us all from the misery of sin… and still most would reject His glorious gift. “Jesus wept.”

Let us not forget that this whole situation was arranged by Jesus. The chapter starts off like this: “Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick.’ When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it.’ Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.” (John 11:1-6) That’s why I think that the David Crowder song below is so appropriate to this post. Lazarus’ death was planned and allowed so that Jesus could be glorified. Jacob’s life has been planned and allowed so that Jesus could be glorified. As has mine. As has yours.

The above video is a song from one of my favorite artists: David Crowder Band - and it goes along with the above post - enjoy!


Destini said...

Very appropriate song, always, you have a great way of putting things into perspective...thanks to ministering to me even in the midst of your personal storms. I appreciate you sharing your journey with the world.

Anonymous said...

thank you, oh, Jesus!!

Laurie said...

A very beautiful post of your faith today. I too, am thankful that you have not had to write those two words yet. I love your heart and this little miracle named Jacob. I check on him each day, it gives so much hope to my heart for these precious babies. Jacobs ministry is so far reaching right now for the Glory of God. Our Father uses the most amazing situations to show Himself to a hurting world. Thank you for sharing this piece of heaven with us here. It blesses my heart and stretches my faith.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

PS. I have not been able to get any of the videos to play for me. They all stop after 4 or 5 seconds.
Any suggestions?

Michelle said...