Hollywood lied to me!
That’s likely no surprise to anyone! However, it is a regular event for me to realize that I bought some Hollywood lie! And it’s annoying to find I did so!
In this case, I bought the lie that love is easy & always feels good!Hollywood makes it look so easy to fall in love, to be in love, and to maintain that love. It is such that my kids and I can often predict who will match up, and when, in a given TV show. And as much as Hollywood may try, the reality of life is nearly impossible to portray.
This is not to say that I don’t know how to love. I was married to a good woman until she changed and left. I’ve raised three kids, nearly adults, who know they are loved. And most of the folks that know me would probably be surprised to read this post. Still, there’s a subtle misstep that I am now aware of, and maybe this is a common misstep; hence, this post.
To love is costly! This is the thing Hollywood rarely portrays, and it is quite difficult to portray, I think. Love may-well cost you everything! And in today’s world of “me first!”, that is anathema! But that’s love; it takes everything you can give, but it often gives back more. Yet, I’ll get to that part in a moment.
I was recently listening hot some TobyMac, and the song Love Feels Like came on, and for the first time, I heard the chorus anew.
This is what love feels like
Poured out, used up, still willin’ to fight!
Most anyone who has walked my road (spiritually-speaking) with me has heard me say, “I’m worn; I feel empty” or something similar. Well, it’s merely a change of the words to say that I feel “poured out, used up”. And most anyone who has seen me take on a challenge knows that I’m always still wiling to fight, though I have wanted to throw in the towel more than once. It takes more than wanting to throw in the towel to get me to quit.
Yet another song came on after Love Feels Like, and that was Francesca Battistelli’s Motion of Mercy, which contains this nugget
Living for the lost
Loving ‘til it hurts
No matter what the cost
Like You loved me first
If you don’t know what Jesus’ love looked like, then please let me illuminate that! He left Heaven, a place of perfection, to take on human form/flesh, being born as a baby, growing up, and then at ~30 years old, He began His ministry of preaching what was called the Day of Salvation, that God had drawn close and the long-foretold sacrifice that would make man right with God was finally here. He was that sacrifice and He was tortured, brutally beaten, and then hung on a cross for 6 hours before giving up His spirit and dying. He was pierced in the side to confirm death, and blood and “water” flowed out of the wound. He was then buried and 3 days later, He rose from the grave.
So, Jesus love took Him outside His comfort, into quite the uncomfortable human state (mind you: no indoor plumbing then, no central heat, no air conditioning, no bamboo shirts, and deodorant hadn’t been invented yet. None of it!). He lived 30-33 years in this state, and then gave Himself to be brutally murdered. The Bible even tells us that He did this so we could have a chance, a choice, to know Him. Giving everything up, enduring pain, discomfort, and brutality, all to give someone the chance to do the right thing…that’s love, y’all!
Hollywood lied to me, and I’m ashamed that I bought the lie. Even so, thanks be to God Almighty for showing me what real love looks like! And by Him, by accepting His sacrifice in my place, making Him Lord of my life, and relying on His Spirit, I can live that love!
I may feel poured out or used up, but He restores! He fills! And He makes me able to keep going, day after day and blow by blow!
I could probably go on and on, but I am trying to keep these latest posts more brief than in the past. So, let me summarize by saying this, love doesn’t always provide immediate rewards (like TV or the movies often show). Sometimes, it is a lot of giving for a reward in Heaven. Sure, there are the hugs that I get from my kids, the words of thanks, or even blessing, when they realize something I’ve done for them, but quite often, love is for an eternal reward. Because I have trust Jesus with my life, have trusted in His sacrifice for me, and seek to serve/follow Him in everything, I know I will see Heaven.
But for now, I’m content to identify with Christ in His sufferings through my own. I’m content to love, not knowing if I will see the outcomes I have hoped will come out of that love. But I love not for rewards or blessing; I love because He loved me first, and I seek to follow His example.
Dear Reader, if you don’t know Him, I encourage you to dig in and know my Lord. He is worth everything you can give, everything you have, and all that you will ever be or have!
Godspeed! — 1 Corinthians 15:10