If you are looking for something uplifting to watch with your family while you are stuck at home, you might try to find End of the Spear. Although it’s a low-budget movie from 2005, the story is one you cannot make up. It is based on events which took place in 1956, when 5 missionaries were speared to death by a group of Waodani tribesmen in Ecuador. Nate Saint and Jim Elliot were two of the men killed trying to make contact with this isolated group of people. The movie chronicles the incredible circumstances that lead to a life-long bond between Nate’s son Steve, and Mincayani, one of the tribesmen who killed his father. Jim Elliot’s remarkable widow, Elizabeth Elliot, published a compilation of her husband’s memoirs in a book called Shadow of the Almighty. Here are two of my favorite pearls of wisdom from the book, which I think are relevant to our current situation:
“Remember that the shadow a thing casts often far exceeds the size of the thing itself (especially if the light be low on the horizon) and though some future fear may strut brave darkness as you approach, the thing itself will be but a speck when seen from beyond. Oh that He would restore us often with that ‘aspect from beyond,’ to see a thing as He sees it.”
― Jim Elliot, Shadow of the Almighty
As we cancel our plane reservations, slow the pace of our too frantic schedules, re-introduce ourselves to our families, turn on the neglected oven and take stock of our lives, it may be useful to remember another of Jim Elliot’s sayings:
“Wherever you are, be all there.” Jim Elliot (October 8, 1927 – January 8, 1956)
We mustn’t focus on the places we are NOT. Be fully present where you ARE – it is, apparently, where you were meant to be. And don’t focus on the looming shadow of the thing we face. It is intimidating because right now, the light is low on the horizon. Like many catastrophic life events, how this story ends will not be determined so much by the circumstances themselves, but how we decide to react to them.
Dr. Fife is a world renowned wound care physician dedicated to improving patient outcomes through quality driven care. Please visit my blog at CarolineFifeMD.com and my Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/carolinefifemd/videos
How beautiful Caroline ♥️
Thank you for this long view and voice of reason. A beautiful way to remember that we don’t know the why’s or when’s, but it’s seldom as bad as it seems at the time.
Beautiful words of encouragement. I hope soon to look back and see that the shadow indeed far exceeded the size of the problem.
My kids have all attended Wheaton college, Jim Elliot’s alma mater in Wheaton Illinois. Wheaton cancelled the remainder of the college year last week under the servant leadership of President Phillip Ryken. Your message Caroline is so very spot on and also reflects the recent holiday of Purim and the book of Esther in the Old Testament. We are all meant to be where we are at these moments for times such as these. Character will prevail and each of us can be servant leaders in the moment thru compassion, empathy and active listening. Passover is near as is Easter and these things shall passover us all as we in our respective homes. It is how we respond after walking across the Red Sea that will define our next 40 years. Grace, mercy and wisdom will carry the days.
Just what I needed to start the day.