By Bo Prosser
My friend, Ryan Parker of Different Drummer, gifted me with free tickets to see the newly released movie, “The Theory of Everything.” The acting is superb, the story is engaging. If you only see one movie every now and then, go see this one!
The movie is based on the book Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Wilde Hawking, the ex-wife of renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking. The movie examines their courtship and marriage, their rocky relationship through his diagnosis with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and his challenge to succeed in the physics community. The centerpiece of the movie for me is around their differing understanding of God as creator and sustainer of the universe. He totally rejects this as nonsense; she totally embraces this as a believer. Theirs is a delicate dance.
At one point in the movie as Stephen is trying desperately to persuade Jane that he is right, she states simply, “I love you, Stephen!” And he stops cold for a moment as if he’s never considered that this might even be possible. It is a moment of raw emotion for Jane and a very impactful moment for me in this film.
This brilliant genius of a man is given pause by three simple words, “I love you!” Things then proceed in typical cinematic drama towards an end that certainly rates high on the “Tissue Meter.” The film is wonderful; there are so many angles to ponder.
And, days later, I’m still pondering how a man so brilliant could be confronted by such simplicity and not grasp the significance. His masterful best-seller A Brief History of Time really did set out to outline a “theory of everything” and he has devoted his whole life to continuing that quest. And, yet, he was given the solution (at least through the movie) in Jane’s loving declaration.
How much we all are like Stephen Hawking! We are on a great quest to find meaning in everything, to explain in theories the understanding of everything. And meaning is right under our noses. When someone loves you, really loves you, enough to declare their love, “everything” is understood and nothing else matters. God loves me, my family and friends love me. Many of them tell me every day of their love and I am grateful.
How many people really love you? Therein is the solution to the theory of everything!
Bo Prosser is Coordinator of Organizational Relationships for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.