Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kate and Leo

So I was watching Titanic the other day. I hadn't wanted to watch it since I was in 6th grade or some time around there because I always thought it was cheesy. But it was on TV, so I figured that meant a. it probably shortened it up a bit and b. they wouldn't show the nudity that always made me uncomfortable. So I watched it, and I'm not ashamed to say that I cried... a lot. Of course when you watch a movie like that, you know that, inevitably, the boat is going to sink, and half the people on the ship are going to die. And you know that a love so amazing as that of Kate and Leo was going to end tragically. So why is it that this fake movie love could be so inspiring? It's funny because after watching that movie, I was looking at quotes from the movie Love Actually, and the little kid and the father in that movie say "we need Kate and Leo," and they go watch Titanic. Then later, the father tells the boy that there isn't one person for everyone, and the boy says, "There was for Kate and Leo. There is for me"
The first event in the movie that precipitated my tears was when Kate gets off the lifeboat and goes down to the bottom floor to find Leo. She goes down the elevator, and when she reaches the bottom floor, there is a flood of ocean water that scares the crap out of the elevator operator. But Kate is determined to find Leo. (By the way, I can't think of Kate's movie name, so I have resolved to call them Kate and Leo.) And though I was watching the movie by myself, I said out loud, "That's real love." Love that makes you look past your fear like that to save someone, that is love. I was moved from the gut, to say the least. I was thinking about me in that situation because I have to say, I would be absolutely terrified if I were on a sinking ship (of course, it is mandatory for ships to have enough lifeboats for all passengers so it wouldn't be quite the same situation). But I am so scared of deep water, I almost cried when I watched the end of the ship go down, and you could see the size of the ship and the ocean compared to the individual people. That ocean was so dark and frigid. It would take an extraordinary love that would make me face that kind of fear.
People always insist that life isn't like movies. But I think it's time to clarify what that means. When I say I believe that life isn't like a movie, what I mean is that I'm not going to be in a situation where I have to go to the bottom of a ship to save the man I love in the midst of the ship sinking. I bet most people aren't put in life or death situations where they have to actually take a bullet for the person they love. But I think we are so drawn to movies and the situations because they really heighten the feelings that we already have. Love makes you brave and selfless like that. Maybe you won't have to utilize that courage in such vicarious situations, but I want to live every day as if I am crawling up on that cross and dying for the man I love. And when we women desire a man to rescue us, that's what it comes down to. It doesn't mean that the man you love beats up somebody who made fun of you. It means he is dying to himself and looking at your needs above his. He wakes up every morning and says how can I show love to this woman as Christ would have me do?
I don't know if this sounds lame, but that's what I see when I see Kate and Leo. They loved each other, so they didn't have wishy washy expressions of love. No, they dove in whole-heartedly. I think that's the kind of love that all of us are dreaming that God will bless us with, and that's the kind of love that we want to be able to express ourselves. So even though the situations that movies put people are in not something that normal middle-class Americans will experience, the emotion can be absolutely real. In fact, I think it's almost harder to be a hero to the one you love when you aren't having to actually take a bullet. That means you have to get up on a cross and die every day for that person. You have to figure out what that means in your lives when you aren't slaying dragons or fighting a disease or sinking in the Titanic.
I think before we keep dreaming about falling in love, we need to consider what the implications of real love is. I don't want anything less than what Kate and Leo had. I believe that God desires me to be a woman who will die daily for her husband, and he wants to bless me with a man who will die daily for me. It will be like in this poem that I wrote the day before Ryan and I broke up actually, in December.

So won't you come cover me,
lay down your life,
desire to present me faultless,
and trust that I've already been rescued.
God won't let me fall.
HE won't let me drown.
I'm all in because He has covered me,
but won't you take the honor of being
His hands,
His heart,
His love, His word in the flesh,
And I will do the same for you, my love.

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