I just recently watched the movie the imitation game. It is a wonderful film that delivers on many levels. There was one scene in particular that stood out to me; the scene where Alan Turing confesses to Joan Clarke that he is a homosexual to try and protect her heart from a possible life married to him. Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley) loved the way that her and Alan Turing (Benedict Cumbercatch) minds connected. She had suspected he was homosexual and she loved him anyway and pictured a life that would work for her with him. Sacrificing the sexual nature of the relationship for something different a connection between their intellects.
So I found myself asking, what is love?
In that scene, I saw that I long for someone to love me, for me. To accept me and say, I see you are not perfect. I see you, fully for who you are, and I accept you. In fact I want to make my life intertwined with yours. I want to combine all that I am with all that you are, and I don’t want you to change.
The only problem with this feeling that I have, is that I don’t deserve anyone to love me that way, nor can I love someone that way on my own. On my own, I lie, I choose what is best for me, I am unable to love well, and I think I am right all of the time. Now, how can I expect another person, who is also this imperfect, to do that?
What I want is more than someone building their life on a partnership with me. I want them to make their life about me without me having to fully do that for them because then our relationship wouldn’t fully be about me.
Jesus destroys this ideal of an earthly relationship because He alone looks at us, and says,
“I see your dirt; I see your blood, and lies, and deceit. I see your sin and your lust, you wretch. I see your striving, your love of man’s praise; I see you seeking fulfillment in what this world has to offer. But I…. I love you still. I accept you; I know you cannot be perfect. I know you do not know fully what you do. You are blind; I want to make you see. You are deaf; let me give you hearing. You are lame; walk with me. Let me show you the world as it was created to be, where love and acceptance are given freely, not based on merit but based on an overflow of what I have done already.
Do you need an example of my love? I died for you on the cross. Do you need a reason to trust me? My promises have always come true. Are you afraid of being left? I will never forsake you, my friend, my brother, my son. You will find no one closer to you than I, for how can anyone know you better than the one who created you, who knows the number of hairs on your head and predestined you for adoption, who works all things for your good. It is my love you long for. Come to me and find rest from searching for acceptance. Here you will taste and see unconditionality. Here you will find freedom from toil and striving and perfectionism. Here you are seen perfect because I have interceded. I do not gaze upon you insouciantly but my heart and body were broken for your sake. I care, more than anyone on this earth ever will, about your welfare.”
It is in Jesus’ words, works, and heart that I can see how love is to be. A lover on this earth cannot provide for me what my soul ultimately longs for, but God being God has, will, and shall. And so I place my heart on Him and allow the freedom of acceptance, the free grace and love shower upon me. I allow it to cleanse me from the desire of fulfillment in another, for I am fulfilled. And in that only will I be able to one day love someone else well; and only from that overflow will someone else be able to love me well.
Do you want to be encompassed in a love that does not cease? Do you long to have another look at you and saying, “I see you; I know you. You are welcome in my arms. In me is your home. Let me give my life up for you!” Gaze upon Christ and accept His love. Turn your longing for another into a longing for the creator, He alone will fulfill it. Allow the hole in your heart for relationship to be sealed by His love. And then walk out this love to others, imitating what we have received from Christ.