Valentine's month is bitter for some singles; myself included. Yes. Shocking as it may seem, I do seek a loving marriage. Sure, I seldom enjoy romance fiction in general, but that never meant I never desired real romance myself. That sounds contradictory. I know. Still, the truth is my mixed feelings stem from my simultaneous love for what romance should be and my hatred for the fake ideal. All the 'kissy' faces; the clingy touching; the dreamy expressions; the cutesy pet-names...Blech! That stuff feels so disingenious--outright un-appealing--to me. Yes, affection is important, but if that's all a couple is about, they're just two self-interested people who decided to chase love's bells and whistles together. Their 'soulmate' is simply somebody self-gratifying to be with. That romantic mindset feigns life while dead on arrival, and it puts a bad taste in my mouth. But genuine romance? The real love that the Bible speaks of? Man, oh man....How I ache for that. How I long to sing God's Song of Songs with someone through anything.
Sadly, such dreams don't come easy today. A godly man with his priorites straight is rare. Heck. After this long and one heartbreaking 'almost'; not feeling constantly rejected or overlooked is difficult for me. I'm largely well adjusted about it, though. I trust God's timing. His plan's are perfect. I'm also very satisfied in my single-hood life. However, because I've been working on Celestial: Age of Silence, a depression hangs over me. I may not be writing a romance, but this particular story demanded a romantic foundation be laid. Therefore, I turned to God's Word for insight, as usual, but studying genuine romance so I can portray it (and its many facsimiles) well can...sting sometimes.
The sting worsened last month. I watched this Disney fan-animatic by a talented YouTube animator. Apparently, Disney's latest film disaster Wish sacrificed a staggering number of marvelous story ideas for their 'woke' agendas. Among these was an adorable romance between the film's heroine and a 'star-boy'--now long cut from production. Even their intended love duet was shabbily altered to be shoe-horned into Disney's 'meh' final product. It was such a crying shame. Well, this creative tragedy wasn't lost on hundreds of aspiring artists, and now depictions of the 'almost' lovers are everywhere! So while I viewed this particular animation (watch it here), I was enthralled. From the characters' expressions; to the choreography; to the cinematography; that sequence of flowing sketches felt as tender as they were magical. It also drove me toward sudden desperation.
I envied the couple who soared through that penciled sky. 'Where were those godly men?' 'Why wasn't I wanted?' There was no ready cure for my heartache. It's selfishly foolish to rush into just anybody's arms for an escape. Hardening myself from the desire altogether wasn't any better. Christ-centered marriages are a beauteous thing to be desired. Thus, there seemed nothing left for me to do but continue waiting...and praying...and more waiting. Then Sunday arrived, and everything changed.
I was studying John 11. Jesus was walking with Martha and Mary to Lazarus's tomb. These ladies, who were Jesus's dear friends, mourned their brother bitterly. Then I read....
...It's the shortest verse in the entire Bible. Two simple, little words. But right then, Christ's Spirit stirred in me, and they bore a meaning more profound than thier size would suggest. Jesus knew He'd raise Lazarus from the grave. Great rejoicing stood mere moments away, yet Jesus cried with Martha and Mary. Not with some forced whimper. He wept openly; possibly loudly! But why? It makes zero sense if not for one clear answer. Jesus cared. He cared so much; He willfully met His daughters' anguish with equalled grief,....and that same incomprehensible love willingly wept with my grief too.
I sat there, pondering this truth, truly stunned. My heart burst open completely. I couldn't stop crying. I am loved! And I'm loved well! And not by just any love. This was the original love: the one that birthed all loves mankind had ever known--from the romantic to the platonic! For what is true romance other than His shadow? It's an earthly picture of His character! And it's precisely why marriage is so sacred! I was undesirable, yet Jesus sought me. I laid in sin's ditch. He lifted me beyond the starry hieghts. I was caked with death. He crowned me with life everlasting. Now, He rejoices to dance with me--His redeemed daughter--and carresses my weeping heart whenever I cry. The romance of all romances is verily, truly, already mine.
Huh. I guess Age of Silence and even my first book secretly are romances after all. They're both Gospel fueled. And who pursues His people (His bride) at all costs as He does?
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