Fairytales have always been my ultimate favorite genre in movies and books. At 32, stories of prince and princesses, of magical powers, and of fairies still make my heart jump with extreme delight. So it was without question that I would be gawking at the abc tv series “Once Upon A Time” when it first came out in 2011. I have been, without fail, following this show ever since.
On the last episode that I saw, Snow’s mother (Queen Eva) was dying of an unknown illness. Later revealed, she was poisoned by Cora. Snow was desperate in saving her mother; she went looking for a magical cure. The evil Cora, impersonating the blue fairy, found Snow in the woods and offered her a solution. She gave Snow a candle that can heal her mother if she whispers the name of another person whose life will be taken in replacement. Snow, remembering her mother’s wishes for her to be good, could not do this. She cannot take the life of another human being to keep her mother alive. On her mother’s deathbed, she told her about the candle asking for forgiveness; she was weak and could not find the courage to use the candle. Her mother responds to her with an encouragement telling her that she showed strength in not using the candle. Snow in tears replied that it meant she will not get better. Queen Eva remarked, “We all reach a moment in our lives where we are not meant to get better.”
This line struck me, of how simple it sounded but how profound its truth. It reminded me of Ecclesiastes 3.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance…”
Ecclesiastes 3:1– 4
Most of us have uttered a prayer for healing for ourselves, for loved ones, and for strangers. Some have been restored, but others have not. For a time, I have wondered why that is. Why does God cure one and not the other even though we’ve prayed for both? As I have grown in my relationship with Him, I began to see the answer to that question. We all reach a moment in our lives where death is what’s supposed to be our path, not a road back to life. We all reach a moment in our lives where we are not meant to get better, for getting better doesn’t always equal what we really need; for there is a time for everything, a time to be born and a time to die. And He has made everything beautiful in its time.
I cried during that scene of Snow’s mother dying. Death doesn’t sit well with me — with us. I think most of us would agree that we all want to be healed from any form of sickness and to be steadily healthy. Not one of us enjoy being sick or find it amusing to watch loved ones slip away because their bodies refuse to fix itself despite endless efforts of doctors and machines to restore what is damaged. We have this nagging sense in us that we are not supposed to die or leave this life just yet. We don’t say it out loud, but in the deepest parts of our existence we long to stay immortal. As though, we are made to be eternal beings. But, what if I say that we are meant to be eternal beings and accepting this reality can help you embrace the beauty of death?
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
I think our desire to be cured from illnesses and to be always fit and healthy stems from what is in our hearts. Eternity. We want to stay on, and to never fade away. God has set that in our hearts as a reminder that we are eternal beings. Death is only a transition to what will be our infinite existence. We are only passing through this life, for this is not yet it. Fairytales give me a sense of excitement, but the truth of life eternal, of endlessness give me a sense of wonder and worship to our God. Death becomes a beauty to behold in the perspective of God. And while we may fret about not recovering from any malady we may be suffering from despite nonstop prayers and efforts of being cured, we can be reminded of this truth. Our lives do not end here. If God chooses for your time in this world to end, so be it; for all reach that point. The elementary but penetrating truth that Queen Eva declared to her daughter on her deathbed prompted me to think that I cannot clutch on to this body. I will one day arrive at that stage of earthly life where its demise is inevitable and essential.
March 17, 2013
© 2013 Kezia Lewis. All Rights Reserved.