As part of our way of life we seldom watch television but from time to time we do watch good and wholesome movies. Last evening we very much enjoyed a 1939 classic entitled Dark Victory staring Bette Davis, George Brent and Humphrey Bogart!
At the same time I finished reading a delightful novel, an allegory entitled Saving Erasmus written by poet Steven Cleaver and published by Paraclete Press.
This morning as I was thinking about the two I came to see that the movie and the book had the same theme: fear, fear of death and love!
In Dark Victory Bette Davis plays a 23-year-old lively, wealthy, somewhat spoiled young woman who developed a cancerous brain tumor and had to face her impending death. In Saving Erasmus the main character, Andrew Benoit (a modern day Jonah) was sent by the Angel of Death to save the town of Erasmus that was facing its impending destruction because the townspeople had lost their faith.
I don’t want to spoil the plot of either the movie or the book but in both, the main characters were filled with fear, specifically the fear of their impending deaths. And it was love that gave them the courage to face the terror of death and to receive it with peace – self-giving love on the part of others. In Saving Erasmus Andrew cries out to God: “Do you love me!!” He very much needed to know. And so do we!
The moral of this post? If you know someone today who is afraid you might want to pay attention and be generous with your time and your love. If it is you who are afraid, pray for the courage to get in touch with that fear and take it to the Lord: "Lord, do you love me?" His love is real, it is steadfast and it is beyond anything we can imagine. .And maybe take down any walls you might have put up and open your heart to receive love from those around you and especially from God. It can make all the difference in the world - and it could save your spriritual life!