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True Love in the Movies 2

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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).

This story helps us understand God's forgiveness and love. The Israelites kept turning their backs on him, but yet he would always take them back even though they didn't deserve another shot.

My own heart strays from God at times, but God is eagerly waiting to love and forgive. His love is unconditional because true love "keeps no record of wrongs" (1 Corinthians 13:5, NIV).

Passion and Joy
Noah Calhoun must introduce himself to his wife, Allie, every day in The Notebook. After more than 50 years together, Allie has lost her memory and doesn't remember or even recognize him. Still, Noah is passionately in love with Allie. In fact, he moves into her nursing home, lets her think he's a friend, and reads daily to her about their love story from her old notebook.

Noah's joyous and pursuing love for Allie is nothing new. As a teen, he danced with her in the middle of the street, wrote her a letter every day for a year, and rebuilt the house she loved. Noah was, and still is, desperate to be with Allie. In fact, when Noah's children want him to get on with his life, he tells them, "That's my sweetheart in there. I'm not leaving her."

I wish for someone to be desperate for me like that. I hope for someone to be so joyful and passionate to be near me. And I think I feel this way partly because it reminds me of God's constant, passionate and sacrificial love for me.

Noah sacrifices his final days to be with his wife, but Christ sacrificed his life so we could live eternally with him. Now that's passion. Christ longs for us to be with him and is passionate about us living with him one day. That is joy. Because of the Lord's commitment to us, we can be assured that Christ's true, pursuing, and joyous love "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:7, NIV).

Loving Pursuit
When Runaway Bride's Maggie realizes she can't live without the only man she has ever loved, she decides to commit. She goes to her love's apartment and hands him a box. "I'm turning in my running shoes to you," she says.

We, like Maggie, long to be truly loved. Our hearts are stirred by stories of selflessness, genuine intimacy, forgiveness and passion. We want romance, but God also uses those desires for true unconditional love to call us closer to him. All we have to do is stop running and accept God's ultimate and unbeatable love.


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