July 16, 2017

The Episode I Can't Quit Watching

Sherlock. Series 4. Episode 2. I cannot get enough of this episode. I watched it at least once, sometimes two or three times, on every flight to and from South Africa last month. I had already watched it 4 or 5 times at home. It's beautiful. It's raw. It's real. It's why I love acting. It's so much more than entertaining. It makes you think, with your head and your heart. You should all go to Netflix and watch it. I'll apologize now for some of the language, but, after all, it is lost people writing a show about lost people in a broken world. Language happens. (Please, don't scream at me for watching it. If you disagree, just don't watch it.) I don't really know how to describe my love for this episode and why it touches my heart so much other than sharing my favorite quotes and why I love them.

**SPOILER ALERT** Important things, crucial to the plot, will most likely be shared. If you watch the show but haven't caught up to Series 4, what in the world have you been doing?!? Seriously, if you aren't caught up, you may want to watch first then come back and read it. If you've never watched it before, you can read this and watch the episode and be just fine. But I'll warn you, it might make you want to watch all.the.episodes.

To start, you need to realize that Mary, John Watson's wife, has been killed. Sherlock caused the woman to shoot at him and Mary jumped in the way. This is the first episode after we've seen that happen.


Therapist: Tell me about your morning. Start from the beginning. 
John: I woke up.
Therapist: How did you sleep?
John: I didn't. I don't.
Therapist: You just said you woke up.
John: I stopped lying down.
Therapist: Alone?
 John: Of course, alone.
Therapist: I mean Rosie, your daughter.
John: Uh, she's with friends.
Therapist: Why?
John: Can't always cope....and, uh, last night wasn't...good.
Therapist: That's understandable.
John: It is? Why? Why is it understandable? Why does everything have to be understandable? Why can't some things be unacceptable and we just say that?
Therapist: I only mean it's okay.
John: I'm letting my daughter down. How is that okay?
Therapist: You just lost your wife.
John: And Rosie just lost her mother.
Therapist: You are holding yourself to an unreasonable standard.
John: No, I'm failing to.

This scene is so real. I had to hold myself back on the airplane from shouting, "Yes! That's exactly how it feels. Every word of it!" For months there's little to no sleeping, you just stop lying down. Hello survival mode. It's a wonderful gift that Lord gives you to get through those hard months. Thankfully, for most people, it doesn't last forever. For a short period of time, it's a protection for you, something that keeps you living when your brain can't always tell you what to do. For the short term, it keeps you functioning when your body refuses to eat or sleep. Now, if you live like this long term, it might kill you because you don't even realize the stress that you're under while you're in survival mode.

And, yes, sometimes life sucks and it should be OK for someone to say that. There shouldn't have to be a mask or a pretending that things are fine and OK when they aren't. It's also OK not to have any words for someone grieving. It's OK to not understand, not like the situation, for their life to suck right now and all you can do is cry with them. Pray with them. Sit with them. Laugh when they laugh. Mourn as they mourn.

Boy, do I know that feeling of failure. Of not being able to cope. Of letting my kids down in every area, because I am mom and teacher. It feels like they can't escape my crazy. They can't get away from my anxiety and fear and not being able to stay awake to even read them a story. They don't get all the fun and excitement that other families get because I just don't have the bandwidth for fun most days. Kevin was the fun one. The steady one. Now, they're stuck with just me. Oh, how hard it is to fight against the enemies lies in this area. I am not good at that battle. It takes daily reminding myself of God's truth and provision for our family and our current season.

Sherlock: Taking your own life. Interesting expression. Taking it from who? Oh, once it's over it's not you who'll miss it. Your own death is something that happens to everybody else. Your life is not your own. Keep your hands off it.

I love these words. I did not expect them to come from such a source. And don't I know how true it is that one's death is something that happens to everyone else. Especially for the believer. For the believer, death is a grace. A joy. But it is grief and sorrow for those left behind. Even when they know it was a grace and joy for their loved one. For me, the truth of this sentence proves that every life matters. If life didn't matter, there would be mo grieving and no sorrow. There would be no impact felt for the death of a loved one by those left behind.

And hear this, oh believer, your life is not your own. It belongs to Your loving Creator. So live like it. Don't waste one moment or one second of this short earthly existence you have. I know that here, the reference is to suicide, and I agree with it in that context, too. But for me, as a believer, I must remember that my life is not my own so I need to keep my hands off it and keep turning it over to God daily. Daily choosing obedience over comfort. Daily choosing to love God and love people. Daily choosing to step away from your plans to follow God's plans. Man, that is not easy to do. But, we must, if we want the abundant life God promises those who follow Him. Yes, in this world you will have trouble. But, take heart, Christ has overcome the world.

After realizing Sherlock loves someone but won't even text her...
John: Just text her. Phone her. Do something while there's still a chance, because that chance doesn't last forever. Trust me, Sherlock: it's gone before you know it. Before.you.know.it. She was wrong about me. 
Sherlock: Mary? How so?
John: She thought that if you put yourself in harm's way I'd...I'd rescue you or something. But I didn't--not til she told me to. And that's how this works. That's what you're missing. She taught me to be the man she already thought I was. Get yourself a piece of that....(to the Mary he's been seeing since she died) I'm not that man you thought I was; I'm not that guy. I never could be. But that's the point. Who you thought I was...is the man who I want to be.

I just...I cry, so hard, at this scene every time. It's so true. The chance to love those around you doesn't last forever. Husbands and wives, this is the only chance you get. Right here, on this broken, dying planet. There's no do over. There's no second chance in a better place without sin getting in the way. Right here. Right now. It's all you get. Don't waste it. Make that apology. Schedule that babysitter. Watch that show he/she loves that you don't. Hold that hand. Give that extra kiss goodbye tomorrow morning. It could be your last chance. Ever. Don't waste it.

What a beautiful statement of what marriage can and should be; a husband and wife making each other better day by day, year by year. Isn't that what Christ does in us? Makes us more like Him each day we spend with Him. Oh, this grieves me so. I know that I was not the woman Kevin believed I was. He did not get the best version of me. I know this because it was only through his death that Christ has made me the woman he always thought I was. Or, at least much closer to the woman he always thought I was. And he deserved that woman. And didn't get her. And that just sucks. But, it is what it is (and if you've watched the episode I'll let you finish that statement) and I can't go back and change in this life and I won't have the chance to change it in the next. So, I'll occasionally weep deeply over the life I wish I had, then wash my face, and hold tightly to the hand of my Savior as He walks me through the life I do have. (Thanks, John Piper, for that thought!) I'll be the best woman I can be as a mom and teacher and friend and servant.

Father, thank you for the gift of acting and writing and creativity. Thank you that you can even use something not written to give You glory, to shout Your truth to my aching heart. Thank You that, though the enemy would try to make me feel this way, I do not walk this world alone. You are with me at all times. You go before me and behind me. You hem me in on all sides. Remind me each day that my life is yours, not mine. That I need to make the most of the time You give me with those right in front of me. Oh, Father, use me for Your glory in all I say and do.