True Love in the Movies
Allegra falls in love with all the things Hitch strongly cautioned Albert not to do. Allegra loves that he danced like a nerd, squirted mustard on his shirt, taught her how to whistle, and threw his inhaler on the ground before kissing her. These gestures touched her heart, calmed her nerves, and made her feel less self-conscious. She gets to know the person beyond the bad dance moves. She falls for the real Albert.
Like Albert, we want to be known and loved, but we fear that who we are isn't good enough. We're looking for acceptance for who we are, but we're also looking for real intimacy, which means to be completely known in the deepest, innermost and essential way. And kind of like Allegra, God loves the real me—not the fake me. He knows me and wants me for who I am and not for the person who often hides and tries to be someone else. God wants me to be vulnerable and open.
Being known by God is different than a relationship with the opposite sex. My boyfriend and I know each other well, but he will never fully know my heart. God does. In fact, Psalm 139:13 says, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb" (NIV). God knows us better than we know ourselves and cares about the small issues in our lives just as much as the big. The Bible tells us, "What's the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head!" (Matthew 10:30, The Message).
Grace and Forgiveness
In Rumor Has It, Sarah Huttinger has unsettling questions and doubts about who she is. She's asking questions and searching for something.
When Sarah asks her fiancé, Jeff, to be patient and give her room, he encourages her to find herself. But Sarah's wandering heart leads her to California where she cheats on Jeff. She doesn't come back and Jeff is worried. He calls repeatedly, but Sarah won't answer. Instead, Sarah stays with her lover and attends a fancy ball with him—on the same night Jeff comes to find her. His heart is broken, and he's angry. But, Jeff still forgives Sarah and takes her back.
That was shocking to me. I wanted to shake my fist at Jeff. He continued to steadily and lovingly pursue Sarah when she was clearly not worthy of his love. But then I realized that the passion driving Sarah's fiancé was forgiveness, not stupidity.
Jeff's unconditional love is similar to the story of Hosea (Hosea 1-3). God told him to marry a prostitute. Even though she cheated on him again and again, God told Hosea, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites" (Hosea 3:1, NIV).