Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Only One Who Satisfies

Tonight I read a whole book, a novel, in 3-4 hours. I probably shouldn't have, considering it was near midnight when I started, but like most young women my heart was captured by the promise of a good romance and whimsical fantasy calling from an old, unread book on my cluttered bookshelf. 

I've been down the road of whimsical fantasy and romance many times before, and though it seems to offer a pleasant escape and the soothing of  loneliness and boredom, it almost always seems to lead to an even more glaring awareness of reality. The reality of my own heart and the longings for eternity and romance written on it,  that ache and yearn for something deeper and more authentic then the mushy, twisted romance and adventure sold in YA novels. 

What is it about the allure of Twilight-esque romance, the obsession with falling in love with supernatural beings, even though they emotionally abuse you and are often downright creepy, that seems to hold captive so many young women? The dream of falling in love with something or someone more powerful than yourself? The longing for a love thats eternal, that overcomes everything, where the heroine and hero end up in each other's arms, forever?  The lore of being so filled with wonder at your lover that you never stop gazing at them, never stop wanting to be with them? 

I mean, it's obvious to anyone who has ever looked at relationships or people in our broken world for even half a second that there aren't people that we could love like that, and no one who would love us like that in return. So why does this desire exert so much power over us if it's so unfounded? It's so unrealistic its maddening, but yet so many women, and men too (though in a different manner) pursue it like this mysterious, powerful romance is nearby, just waiting to be caught. Like it's what we were all meant for and we know it deep in our bones and soul, but we just can't seem to find it. Allusive and alluring, mystical and powerful, pulling us forward like some half-forgotten dream. So novels are written, plays and movies, all capturing and framing this dream through different lenses and contexts, sometimes just barely hinting at the glorious reality of it, often twisting and maiming it completely. And often our relationships reflect the same. 

That's usually how I feel after reading an epic love story, like I just caught a whiff, a fleeting glimpse, a murky reflection, of the truth of something deep in my own soul that refuses to stop the pursuit despite all the hurt, sin, death, and brokenness. The truth that my soul was meant to spend all eternity gazing, beholding, adoring, and pursuing Someone more powerful and more beautiful than myself. The secretly hoped-for truth that this Someone pursues and loves me first, before I even become aware of His existence, and that He is incredibly good. And that this Someone, is THE Someone, the Great I AM, the Creator of the universe, who wrote these desires into the very fibers of my soul, this sense of 'eternity written on the hearts of men', the deep longing of the human heart to worship, the ache to experience the eternal joy of bride and bridegroom, so that we would know and come to Him.  

It sounds like it's too good to be true, it sounds like crazy-talk, but the "proof is in the pudding." This half-remembered dream of an eternal, glorious love plagues the human heart for a reason. We were made for it, and thank you Jesus that it is not even close to the crap we often settle for in cheap novels and broken relationships.  I don't pretend to understand or even properly appreciate the amazingness of God and His love and heart, but I dimly know that our hearts were made for His.  

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” - C.S. Lewis

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