Love to death is more than an expression

There is an irresistible side of love. When a man loves a woman he can’t resist the temptation of stealing time to see her. He can’t resist spending a little more than he should just so he can impress her. He can’t resist looking at her and hearing her voice because the experience is like being in paradise. Most of all, he is hopelessly, sometimes blindly trusty. For him she can do no wrong. Love makes a believer out of the most cynical skeptical. Love debunks the matter plus time plus chance matrix. Loves infuses meaning, hints at purpose and teases with destiny. Love moves man closer to the realm of the supernatural. And I believe in love.

But not any ordinary love. The Word says, “No greater love has one than this — that he should give up his life for his friends.” Last night I watched a movie titled “The Next Three Days.” In it the main character, played by Russell Crowe, is willing to put his life on hold and even learn the ways of violence in order to help his wife get out of jail. And why? Because he believed his wife was innocent of the crime she was found guilty of. Tonight I watched “A Very Long Engagement,” a french movie with Audrey Tatou as the main character, playing a young woman driven by the thought that contrary to what everybody believed, her fiancée was still alive somewhere and had not died during World War I. In spite of some brief adult scenes in the second one, I truly enjoyed both movies and in the end, both protagonists were proven right. They hoped against all hope and believed against the whole world.

In both cases, you could say that it was love that gave them the motivation to deprive themselves of a normal life in order to pursue a plan few would ever even consider, let alone plan it and execute it with great precision. Love, you could say, propelled them to action.

But however deeply committed those two were to their loved ones, their actions, though heroic, don’t come even close to the idea of giving one’s life for one’s friend. For that, you have to turn to a hill outside Jerusalem.

Let love make a believer out of you.

Ivanildo C. Trindade