A short fictional story of what people experience when they fall in love with someone deeply and truly.
It’s true, when she met him six months ago, her heart skipped a beat and her mouth fell open like in a goofy movie. He looked just right, spoke just right and was a real gentleman. But surprisingly enough, it was nothing more than a platonic friendship. He was just another figure in her life. His smile had become an every day casualty like the clouds in the sky, beautiful when paid attention to, but most of the time, a mere part of the background.
One day, they had plans for dinner in central Madrid. She found her heart thumping hard to set eyes on him for the first time in two weeks. Something had changed. She walked over into his arms, into the Spanish ritual of a two-cheek kiss then commenced into their usual conversations. The time flew as it always did, only this time, she was more disappointed than ever to have their time end so quickly. His infectious laugh lifted her spirits, his joy penetrated her very being and felt like it had reached down into her own soul and gave her motivation to go another day with the thrill that she will see him again. The friendship blindfold had come off. She didn’t know how and certainly didn’t know why.
Just like any other, he was distracted by his phone at times, or the people passing by. She found herself longing for him to lift his eyes for even a moment. Other times, his attention was on nothing but her and she felt like she could breathe him in entirely.
"I love spending time with you," she wanted to say. Her heart was so full of his existence in her life that she felt like bursting. Only, she said nothing.
The night ended with him casually throwing his jacket on, buttoning it up until the penultimate button, always skipping the last one for the cooling wind to hit his exposed neck on the street. The waitress with the ecstatic energy and the tapping pen waved them off when they pointed to the paid bill on the table.
Leaving with him made her feel so proud, like she had the greatest treasure in the whole restaurant to call her own. The greatest treasure anywhere really. Yet again, she wanted to reach for his hand and lead him through the crowd without letting him escape her for even a second. But she didn't -- instead, she turned her head back to him a few times to ensure he was still following. His intermittent eye contact was like a constant kiss of tenderness.
"Let me take you home," he said as they stood by his car, a few streets down from the restaurant.
When hopping into the car, she caught a rapid glance of herself in the car window. The wind had brushed through her hair like there was no tomorrow and it now looked like two loose strands short of a 1960's perm. She quickly tamed it with twirls, spins and strokes all over her head.
Entering into the driver's seat, his manly cologne spread across the dashboard and hit her hard. It was so much stronger here without the caramelised onion and bolognese sauce reeking between them.
Funnily enough, the moments where she would catch him looking at her, make up an excuse to talk to her, or walk a little too fast into her in order to make some form of physical contact, she felt nothing. Her stomach didn't feel butterflies. Her heart wasn't being trampled on by elephants that sucked all the air out of her lungs. She was fine. Better than fine actually. She felt natural, normal, safe and for lack of a better word, comfortable. Being with him was natural and full of so much joy that everything else was forgotten. But pain was born when he'd leave.
That same night, he stopped by her house and wished her sweet dreams, one hand on the gear stick and the other still on the steering wheel, ready to drive off seconds after she exited the car. She didn't hesitate. She kissed him on one cheek, tried to make a funny remark whilst leaving the car -- something lame about late-night traffic -- then slammed the car door shut. The car veered off into the distance and her heart fell into her stomach.
"I wish you'd take me everywhere with you," she whispered to herself.
Seeing that car whizz away so fast, even on an empty road in the middle of the night startled something within her. Her heart acted just like the car: it sped ahead from thought to thought, scenario to scenario until she found herself standing frozen in the middle of an empty road, eyes glistened with tears and her chest aching. Images of his sleeping face on a hospital bed or his name engraved into a grave stone flashed before her. The very thought of losing him crippled her feet and contracted her stomach that she felt sick instantly.
She didn't know whether he loved her or thought about her outside of their meet-ups, but that bore no significance to her passion in loving him. He could forget all about her, her name, their memories, he could even hate her, but she would never stop caring so deeply for him. In that moment, she knew this was far more than a mere crush or a sentimental feeling.
This was unconditional love. And after years of hearing about it, for the first time, she experienced it herself.
"As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
In this short fictional story we get a sense of what people experience when they fall in love with someone deeply and truly. This circumstance bares an example to what it's like to truly love someone, and not just having an attraction or a spark. But real, unconditional love that is alive even when the recipient does not reciprocate.
God's love is like that. Sit and think for a minute what it’s like to have Him be in love with us every day: to strive for our attention, to desire to spend more and more time with us, craving more conversation with us. Imagine how He feels when He wants to take your hand and lead you lovingly through all the noise of this world to a place of rest and peace with Him. Look at how He wants to give you His very best and nothing less, how He prepares the best suited blessings for you.
He is a Father that wants to protect you and be with you wherever you go. Someone that wants to follow but can't always speak with you from the front seat because you leave him behind at home, or at church. But He loves you so much that He comes anyway, and He holds you in the palm of His hand, even when He’s ignored, forgotten, blamed.
He looks at you today with nothing but deep, unconditional love inside and whispers treasures in your ear, secrets He wants you to discover and ways He wants you to get to know Him and explore His relationship with you.
Even the thought of losing you to this world or to the depths of sin and death cripples Jesus: it’s why He decided to die for you. He'd rather have you hate Him and misunderstand Him than lose you entirely. He loves you: close or far away.
If we can experience an ounce of that unconditional love with other people, what is God's perfect unconditional love like for us? And aren't you curious to experience it?
He's already begun loving you. He loves you now and He will keep loving you: all He wants is to just get a little closer.