On Tuesday, July 20—just 13 months after her husband Christopher passed away after a four-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—actress Lisa Valentine Clark gave an inspiring devotional at Brigham Young University.
Both she and Christopher loved and were heavily involved in theater, and her remarks reflected as much. She spoke about the improv principle, “yes, and . . .,” or the idea that you take whatever is offered to you on stage and then you add something to it. This was something Lisa and her family had to remember in leaps and bounds as they were forced to take their unexpected life challenges and turn them into triumphs.
"Christopher decided, early on in his diagnosis, how he would respond. Most importantly, he gave everyone around him permission to laugh at ALS and himself." #BYUDevo #BYUSpeeches pic.twitter.com/2de9XnKOzQ— BYU Speeches (@BYUSpeeches) July 20, 2021
The crux of Clark’s devotional address revolved around a quote from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The line, “Serve God, love me, and mend,” has meant more to her lately and helped her apply “yes, and . . .” more liberally in her life.
“Serve God,” she says, “is the driving force, the super-objective of our lives. . . . ‘Love me’ reminds me to choose love—to love everyone. . . . It reminds me that it is a human need to be loved.” And to Lisa, the directive “mend” reminds us of the beautiful miracles—even the not so obvious ones—that God can bring about in our lives.
Since Christopher's death especially, by trying to roll with the punches, always adding something to the trials she’s been given, and applying the “yes, and . . .” principle in her life, Lisa has learned that Christ will always support her. “He weeps with me,” she declared, “and He prepares the path, and He is preparing me for the path.”
Watch the entire BYU devotional address below.