More Than Managing

Renowned professor and author C. S. Lewis
was a satisfied bachelor when he met
the spirited poet Joy Gresham.
Their unlikely relationship grew first
into marriage and then into romance.
Unfortunately, she soon developed terminal cancer
and C. S. Lewis committed himself to care for her.
As their story unfolds in the movie Shadowlands,
he doesn’t want to talk about her illness and approaching death.
Joy says to him, “I’m going to die,
and I want to be there with you then, too.
The only way I can do that is
if I am able to talk to you about it now.”
He responds, “I’ll manage somehow. Don’t worry about me.”
She replies, “I think it can be better than that.
I think it can be better than just managing.”

Her words hold significant truth for us.
Even in the most difficult circumstances,
caregiving can be about much more than just managing.
Relationships can grow and deepen.
People can become more real to one another, more honest.
New strengths can emerge.
Unexpected joy can appear.
Unusual peace can settle in.
Moments can be lived more fully than ever.
Does that happen automatically?
Of course not.
But with our desire and willingness,
and sometimes even without it,
such things can happen.

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