I still remember the boy I loved. How can anyone ever forget the first requited love of their life?
It’s been years since then, and I’ve turned into a wry spinster of sorts. But still, I can’t forget random small memories of him. Like how, for example, he once caught me in a hallway as I passed, pulled me inside an empty classroom, and laughingly whispered a few bits of nonsense in my ear before letting me go on my way, with my face burning, because he’d just kissed me.
Ours was a tender relationship, with the blessing of our respective parents to boot. Who knows, maybe it would have fledged into something serious. Alas, it was not to be, because the inevitable happened—my first boyfriend moved away, ending the small gestures of affection that characterize puppy love, and leaving behind a little girl crying out for her first love.
* * *
I am the first to tell my friends that a long-distance relationship cannot work. Lovers’ promises of undying affection and devotion cannot survive the great divide of time and space. Or can they?
* * *
“…and be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NLT)
When I read the last chapter of Matthew a few months ago, I was incredibly perturbed. I felt a great and extreme sadness. How could anyone that loved Jesus, that walked with him, that enjoyed close friendship and communion with the Son of God not be overcome by the sorrow? Sure I knew about the logistics of the master plan—the Holy Spirit coming to earth as the comforter, etc. That wasn’t the point.
You see, I knew the singular pain that comes with the realization that things are not the same, and that the hope of eventually meeting up again is not enough to keep a relationship going.
* * *
“…I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT)
If it were up to us humans to keep the relationship going (if it were based on our love and faithfulness), then surely whatever relationship we could have with Jesus would end soon after it sparks into being. But God’s love is as everlasting as God himself is.
I take hope in the knowledge that God himself is the guarantee of this relationship working out even when we can’t enjoy physical proximity. I believe that the ties of love that bind you and me to heaven are stronger—infinitely stronger than any human-forged ties. There is no beginning of His love, nor an end of it. It is boundless and ever present.
Physical separation is not enough to break such ties, and neither is our betrayal or our sin or our forgetfulness powerful enough a reason to break the love of God.
* * *
I bask in the knowledge that there is one who loves me greatly and tenderly. I read his love letters every day, and talk to him continually.
I’m 27 years old, my love life is a total wasteland. To most people I appear to be the one that disdains romance, who is proud of being the opposite of a man-magnet. A cynic. But truly, that’s all just a flimsy front.
My Heavenly Prince is the one that makes and keeps me hopelessly and incurably romantic.