I’ve been slowly drafting this blog in my head for some time, so who knows how it will actually come out…but here goes nothing!
I watch a lot of “chick flicks” and that’s really not a secret. Do you ever notice how someone always gets hurt? Its usually the girl, but someone always gets hurt. I was watching Music and Lyrics for the first time last week and I wanted to stop watching it because I knew the hurt was coming, after all, its there in pretty much every chick flick ever made (my roommate and I actually sat there one night and tried to think of a chick flick where no one gets hurt…we failed). I didn’t want to see her get hurt, I knew it was coming, something bad was going to happen – Sophie Fischer (played by Drew Barrymore) was bound to get hurt, it seemed nearly inevitable. Alex Fletcher (played by the amazing Hugh Grant) was going to make her heartache, whether they got in a fight or he went out with another lady, or used someone else’s lyrics, he was going to hurt Sophie.
Even though I didn’t want to see Sophie get hurt, to relate to her pain, I wanted to see the story through to the end. I wanted to see her get a happy ending, despite the ache that was more than likely headed her way. Isn’t that how it always goes? We want to see the happy ending? So I watched, and do you know what happened? She got hurt. (I’ll save the painful details, lest you have yet to see this movie.) Even though I knew it was coming, it still hurt to see it happen, I still wanted to hope that this movie, this story line would be different, that no one would get hurt. As I do with nearly every chick flick I watch, I couldn’t help but relate to her pain, the sting of attraction. I think we can all relate to that pain, after all, its as old as time itself. Romeo finds Juliet and thinks she’s already dead, Jack drowns with the Titanic, Allie and Noah fight and are separated by wealth, time and a war, Lizzy tours Mr. Darcy’s house and stumbles upon him embracing another woman, the apostles watch as their savior dies. We all relate to that pain, that ache.
So does God.
Why does it hurt? Why do we ache? It wouldn’t hurt if we didn’t love. Romeo loves Juliet and thinks she has taken her life, Rose loves Jack and yet watches him sink into the icy ocean, Allie loves Noah but is taken away by her parents, Lizzy loves Mr. Darcy and hates seeing him embracing someone else, the apostles loved Jesus and yet He dies. We hurt because we love. Please understand that in no way, shape, or form am I attempting to say that love is pain. The pain eases because we love, its somewhat cyclical in nature. And yet even though we hurt, we keep watching the movie, we keep living our lives, because we keep hoping for that happy ending. There’s a hunger inside of us for that sappy happy song playing in the background, that magical kiss in the rain (come on, that kiss scene in The Notebook is EPIC), that moment that makes us feel so fully alive. We hurt, and yet we hope.
We hurt because we love, God hurts because He loves. When I say that this ache is as old as time itself, I mean that quite literally. This ache comes from our Fall, it goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. God hurts when we chose to eat of the tree, when we tried to take fate into our own hands. God loves us and yet we hurt Him. Since we are made in His image, it makes perfect sense that our own ache in love mirrors His ache for us. We feel hurt in love, our heart aches when we fight with those we care about, our heart breaks when we see those we love hurting – its the same in the heart of God. He hurts when we fight with Him, He hurts we He sees us hurting.
We hurt because we love. But, we love because we hurt, because love gives us hope, it draws us out of our hurt and into something deeper – into the very heart of God. We draw on His love, His never ending river of love. We can only imagine the pain in His heart as He watched His only Son die and out of our pain comes a deeper love – a love rooted in the love that He has for each one of us.
“We love because he first loved us” – 1 John 4:19