On love stories
by Beng Alba
Disney’s Tangled made me cry (the twist near the end made me think of O.Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”). Links featuring remarkable relationships and heroic displays of commitment earn prime real estate spots on my Facebook wall. Aging couples walking side by side, holding on to each other as they wobble through the street, tell me that true love can last.
What makes me sigh and applaud these stories of love I see on screen and off? Am I just being a hopeless romantic sucked into the sappy world of happily-ever-afters? Or is there something within me — how I am made by God — that prompts me to instinctively desire and recognize a love that is noble and true?
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The Lover constantly woos His beloved. He initiates, He pursues. Sometimes the other responds; yet most of the time, she doesn’t. Undeterred by the other’s acts of rejection and betrayal, He prods on. He doesn’t want anything that she can give Him, only that she realizes how deeply she is loved.
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Six years ago, I wrote this on my blog:
Love is not the fireworks that illuminate the sky every New Year’s eve; it is the constant, steady light from a lamp that brightens a room every night. It’s not being blown away by the music of a symphony orchestra; it’s being warmed by the strains of a familiar tune from the radio.
And love, more than being about passion, is rather about grace. For isn’t this the same way we are loved by God — that we are loved, not because we deserved it (we didn’t and we don’t) but because He simply chose to? That we didn’t have to pay Him with good works for us to be declared worthy of love? For if that were the case, wouldn’t that be just barter, that is, “my good works in exchange for Your love”? Would it ever be right for love to be cheapened by becoming an obligatory gesture due someone for services rendered? No. A thousand times no.
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Stories of love stir me. Yet all love stories — even those concocted in the laboratory of Hollywood or grown in the fertile imagination of the most successful novelists — pale in comparison with the greatest Love Story of all. Why? Because this Love Story is as real as the tears shed by the Man on a cross, giving His life for His beloved.
Beng Alba is the author of two of Hiyas’ books bestsellers, Ang Batang Ayaw Maligo and Joey and the Gulay Gang. She is also the Assistant Publications Manager of OMF Literature. And she is very much in love with someone and with God