Rolling Back the Grey Rain-curtain

I re-watched the Lord of the Rings series over the weekend, and many of the lines took on special meaning in light of recent events, reminding me why I love these movies so much. . . .

From "The Return of the King":

Pippin: I didn't think it would end this way.

Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path ... One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass ... And then you see it.

Pippin: What? Gandalf? See what?

Gandalf: White shores ... and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.

Pippin: [smiling] Well, that isn't so bad.

Gandalf: [softly] No ... No it isn't.


Last Friday, my friend left this world for the next. All those questions I have about heaven have been answered for him. As happy as he was on earth, I can only imagine the pure joy he is experiencing now.

Not so for the poor wretches he left behind. Even though it's been almost two years since I've seen Jim, knowing it is no longer an option the next time I journey out to Colorado is beyond sad. Far worse is the grief that must be pulsing through his wife's heart. He and Brenda would have celebrated their fifth anniversary in October.

But I imagine she will always carry his amazing love for her. A few years ago, while visiting them in Littleton, the two told me how much they liked the movie "The Notebook." Jim became particularly emotional as he remembered a speech near the beginning of the movie that he especially related to: "I am no one special. Just a common man with common thoughts. I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who ever lived. I've loved another with all my heart and soul and for me, that has always been enough."

Add his love for Brenda with his love for God and passion for life, and I submit that this man was far from common.

He will be missed.


Can I Jump Ahead a Bit?

This may just be one of the most emotionally draining times of my life. As I await news on Jim's condition (see previous posts) in Colorado, I'm also receiving updates on my dear cousin, Amy, who is slowly losing her battle with a brain tumor in North Carolina. At the same time, I'm struggling with depression, starting the process of moving ... again, stressing over the book proposal I haven't finished, trying to catch up at work after falling behind because of several trips this summer, and dealing with on-going health issues and insomnia. Yeah, no wonder I can't sleep.

All the while, I realize the things that are breaking my heart have nothing to do with me. I don't know why God has chosen to, as yet, not heal Jim and Amy, but I'm starting to see how He is using the diverging whitewater rivers of Summer 2008 to do some work on me. How it will work out and what, exactly, He's doing remains to be seen.

I wish I could close my eyes and wake up when things are back to normal. All the while realizing things may never be normal again. Besides, that's the cowardly way out. I am called to serve, minister, help and encourage, not try to hide from the pain.

"God, show me how to get my mind off of me & focused on walking alongside those I love."