I’m Sorry. It’s Not You, It’s Me

Spoiler Alert: If you are planning to read, or watch the movie this weekend and don’t know how this book ends, proceed with caution. While I don’t reveal anything specific about the plot, conclusions can be drawn about the ending based on what I write below.

 

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Dear Me Before You,

I want to love you, but I can’t. And, you need to know it’s not you, it’s me. You are a beautiful story written from a different perspective than the way I see the world. I’m hanging on your every word, just waiting for those two lost people to find each other, to break free from their respective chains. You make my heart flutter at the promise of unlikely love. You awake in me a new level of compassion for those who view their bodies as a cage, and break my heart for the pain of broken dreams that can never be attained.

But I can’t love you. I just can’t. And, its not only because I’m a sucker for happy endings (which I am). It’s something in my soul that cries out, “There’s more, there’s more, there’s so much more!” It cries out that we cannot surrender because life turns “ugly,” because it is hard, because its not what we signed up for. I know you’re just a fiction story written from a different lens than the one I see life through, but you also represent the reality for many broken people.

I have this insane value for life. All human life. Our lives were authored by God who knew us from the very foundations of the universe, who has a plan for our lives to reflect his glory. Therefore every human being on this planet has something to contribute, and I cannot be okay with the idea that an individual should be able to decide when that plan is over.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t speak to condemn. I don’t pretend to understand the pain, or the complexities of individual situations. I’m just a person who sees pictures of God everywhere I look. While watching children play, walking down the grocery aisle, and in the faces of the people I pass. No matter how “limited” a person is, I have a way of seeing possibility instead. My heart pleads, “Don’t surrender. The world will miss what only you can teach. Don’t choose limits over possibility.”

And right here. At this moment right in the middle of writing, God spoke to my heart. He stopped me and whispered, “There is more. Look over here. Look at Louisa.” 

Me Before You, maybe I do love you after all.

It’s a hard truth you reflect. As a Christian I live with this hope that fills me to bursting. Not only hope in Christ for myself, but also for the people I love. I hope, I hope, I hope that I can show those who do not know the transforming power of Jesus the something more that makes life worth living no matter how hard it gets.

I may commit my life to expanding the horizons of hurting people, to show them what is beyond the circumstances in front of them. My knees might be sore from all the time spent in prayer, my heart rent with compassion and understanding. But still, for whatever reason they can’t/won’t/don’t see that there is another way, that there is more to life than what they see.

No one would fault Louisa for her heartfelt attempts to show Will that there was more to life than what he was seeing for himself. Rather, they would fault her if she didn’t.

But then, after all the praying, giving, and speaking,  sometimes the only thing I can do is show unconditional love just by being present.

It might seem feeble, just being present, misunderstood as condoning. But, Will knew how Louisa felt. My readers might think she should have pleaded to the last second, fought the whole way. I can’t say I blame them. I’m not saying that I would have made the same choices as Louisa, I am only reflecting what I can learn from her character.

In the wise words of Solomon, there is a time to speak and a time to keep silent. There is quiet power in a love not based on the choices of others. It’s not my job to change hearts after all, but to offer possibility.

Me Before You, I know I am seeing things from a far different lens than you probably intended, my musings on spiritual life and death. Still, you remind me that just because someone does not take the path I’ve shown, it doesn’t take away the power of the love I’ve given. I must love, give, and show anyway. Those I love are responsible for their own choice. The value of what I offer is not based on the outcome, it comes from my source, Jesus.

So maybe I do love you. I don’t know, you complicated thing you. I’m still working it out. I won’t break up with you. For now I’ll change our Facebook status to: It’s Complicated.

Sincerely,

A Lover of Life


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