Why can’t love work like it does in Hallmark movies? My grandma really loves Hallmark movies, and Hallmark has this thing with love stories. In every movie it seems like the man and the woman meet by happenstance, fall in love automatically, have a falling out, and finally make up and live happily ever after. For example, there is a poorish single mother who enters the same lottery numbers every week. Finally she wins with those numbers, but then she realizes that the winning ticket is in her car which was stolen the night before. The thieves are two construction guys who are a little low on cash and whose car has been booted. They only mean to borrow her car, but when they realize that there is a $1 million lottery ticket in the car, they search the car. The nicer the two returns the car, but they keep the ticket. Their plan is for the better looking one to woo the lady and plant the idea of a reward for the ticket in her head. In true Hallmark style, the man does woo her but also falls in love with her in the process. He feels like a loser and returns the ticket by mail to the lady. A few days later, he asks if she got any mail, but nothing unusual has come. The lady figures out that he and his friend were the thieves and dumps him. In the last ten minutes of the movie, they find the ticket on the bottom of the kid’s boot, the mean roommate turns up dressed as Santa Clause to apologize, and they rush to find the lover man. At 1 minute until midnight on Christmas Eve, the couple kisses, and the entire crew claims the lottery prize. Happy ending. Love triumphs again.
I realize that there are many unrealistic elements to this story and maybe I’m a hopeless romantic, but I wish love happened that way. I’m not even sure I believe that love at first sight can happen anywhere but in a fictional setting, much less love where lottery tickets and thieves are involved.
So now, I must move onto a better picture of love: the one found in the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13 (a well quoted passage) a better picture of love is given.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
While the above passage does contain some of these aspects, it is lacking in fully demonstrating some of the others. For example, the woman was not extremely patient when she discovered the man’s past mistakes. Even though they concerned her, she did not listen to his entire story; instead, she stormed out and wouldn’t answer his phone calls. He had changed his mind and had regrets. That does not get him off the hook. He should have been honest with her as soon as he changed his mind about the ticket. Instead he dishonored her and was too proud to admit his mistakes. Their fleeting love was not the picture of love that Christ gave.
Now I realize that humans can never love the same way Christ did and we will always make mistakes. The Hallmark love is nice and easy, but I guess what I am trying to say is that I would rather my love look a little more like 1 Corinthians.