Mandy sits with her back pressed against the park bench. She watches a pair of toddlers chase after a flock of birds. Giggles erupt from their cherry lips and the ends of their curly hair dance in the wind. To her right, an elderly couple sit shoulder to shoulder, a book spread between them. The wife lifts her face and the husband looks down at her with such love and admiration; it’s as if his world is suspended in time.
A flutter of movement to the right catches Mandy’s attention. She turns to the sound and her heart skips a beat as her gaze falls on Cameron’s chiseled features. His deep blue eyes sparkle in the mid-morning sun.
The corners of Mandy’s mouth upturn and a giggle settles in the back of her throat, although he has done nothing to warrant her smiles. Nothing but look at her—which is enough.
Aah! The beauty of romance! We can all remember our first love, that first look, first smile, first kiss, that set our hearts on fire. But for some of us, those memories are bittersweet, tainted with the pain of loss and abandonment. Perhaps we are afraid to try again. And so we sit, hidden inside houses, behind computers, or perhaps in the midst of a busy crowd where we can blend unnoticed amidst the mindless chatter.
And yet, even as we hide, peering through the walls that we have erected around our hearts, we long for something more. Something special. Something beautiful. We long for a love that will penetrate to our deepest selves, exposing our fears and weaknesses, not to flaunt them or use them against us, but to hold them in a tender embrace.
This morning as I was listening to a song by Jason Gray, I was reminded of that moment in time when God reached down and touched my heart. Oh, I had done the “religious” thing for quite some time. Followed the rules, said all the right prayers, voiced plenty of amen’s and hallelujah’s, but the emptiness in my heart remained. One day, filled with a pain so deep it consumed me, I cried out to God. “Why won’t you love me!”
His reply swept over me like a rushing wind. “You won’t let Me.”
And that was when my divine romance began.