I am a romantic. Secretly, yet not too secretly. My students would probably be surprised, people who know me casually would probably be surprised, but in my heart of hearts I am a sappy romantic. I enjoy romantic movies (this meaning North and South, Pride and Prejudice, and Jane Eyre (yes that last one is Gothic romantic, in my mind) not more modern romantic movies like the Titanic.). Despite my “sensible” nature (in quotes because this is what I would prefer to think of myself, not what is necessarily true), I love the feeling in my stomach when I know the couple will end up together and that they will be madly in love.
(Skip to 2:45)
That clip just fills my romantic heart with joy. Laugh if you wish, reader, but I was made for a wildly romantic love. And you were, too. I just too often think only of Mr. Thornton as the lead character instead of Our Lord. What a far more intense love Jesus has for me than any other man ever could.
Our Lord proves His love for me over and over again, even though it is not necessary. My existence is proof of His enduring love but He desires to delight my heart. A brief story to illustrate how He does so.
On Thursday evening I was planning to go to a Theology on Tap at a local ale house (sounds so much better than a bar, aye?). Social outings are always a feat for me because it takes a great deal of personal convincing (as well as telling other people that I will be there so as to make it necessary for me to actually make an appearance) for me to arrive at anything beyond Mass after school. Since I do not live in town, I need to stay at school for a couple extra hours if I go to any events in the evening. It isn’t really that inconvenient, there is certainly enough work for me to do, it is just difficult when I sometimes feel like collapsing into a bed at 3:30 pm.
Anyway…I was going to go to the Theology on Tap but I left school a bit late. The event was to begin at 7 pm and I left only 10 minutes to get there. I was tired, hungry, and running late. Driving downtown I got mixed up about which street it was on and it was making me even later. At about 7:10 I was pulling into the parking lot only to find it full. So I drove out, down the street, and came back. I was starting to convince myself to go home, eat, and sleep. That sounded more appealing to me every second. I began to plan what I would say the next day if someone asked me why I didn’t show up.
Looping around the parking lot I still didn’t find any spots. I decided to take one more turn about the lot. “Lord, what do you want me to do?” The tension was that I felt like I should go yet I wanted to just go home. I saw a man was talking on a cell phone at the back of an apartment building. Seeing me, he began to point. I was confused. Then I realized that the spot he was pointing to was for a business that was closed at this point in the evening. I pulled into the spot, got out, and the man waved and smiled at me. For a moment I thought he was one of the people that I would be meeting there, but I soon realized they were two separate buildings.
Walking into the ale house I was laughing inside. The Lord helped me find a spot. More importantly, the Lord was able to quickly answer my prayer in a very tangible way. I asked Him what I was to do and He had a man point to a parking spot for me. It didn’t leave too much to wonder about. The whole evening was a blessing. Afraid that I would walk in late, I entered the establishment to find that many of the people were still getting their drinks. When they began to move into another room for the talk, a couple of people waited for me to get my drink. Everything was working perfectly. The talk of the night was excellent and I was able to socialize afterwards.
The Lord provided for me. Driving home that night I was filled with thankfulness. He knows what He is working with. It is hard for me to break out of my shell but the Lord desires it of me. Nevertheless, He helps do some of the breaking.
The little gifts He offers to me are sometimes dismissed or received with a sense of entitlement. While I build dreams of romantic proposals or fantastic encounters, He is offering to me His heart. I acknowledge it briefly, perhaps, and then sit and wait impatiently for the day when I will receive the affections of some Prince Charming. This is an exaggeration, but not as much as it should be. I am still very much of the world. Knowing that Christ alone can fill me, I still try to run after the fulfillment that society tries to offer to me.
Sometimes it takes a random stranger pointing out a parking space at a bar for me to begin to think that the Lord is in love with me. Am I still longing for marriage? Yes. Do I still hope for some romantic swept-off-my-feet love? Of course. Despite all that, my desire is to desire the Lord more and more and to realize that He alone can provide the true love that I so desperately need.