“Father’s Day: The man gazes at the bluish screen from the slump of his Lazy-Boy. His wife presses a young daughter to tell him that she loves him. She resists, knowing his surly nature and aversion to affection. She approaches, confronting her fear. ” — Graham Greene, The End of the Affair
He attacks: “What the hell do you want? Don’t bother me.”
The father hits the girl’s mother with his fists, and with words about other women; the mother responds with her own fists and stories of nights with men.
The girl watches.
This girl meets a boy. He says something about love and explains that it means sex. So she says, “OK.” At fourteen. She cries on her fifteenth birthday. She’s lost something. At her party, her mother forces the father to dance with his daughter.
The girl moves in with the boy. Her house is no home, and his parents treat her well. The boy begins to love other girls. Just as her father did. The girl loves other boys, like her mother.
Soon the boy and girl move to a new city, to an apartment of their own. They play grown-up. They play mature. They play love.
They break up. They come back together. They mention words of love and show it with other lovers.
Other boys want to date her. She loves them, then others.
The girl, now a young woman, meets some nice people. They talk of love. Then they tell her good things about herself. They tell her true things, some of which hurt. Yet something in her heart tells her they are true. These new friends make love look and sound differently. It feels different.
The girl becomes a woman, and not just in face and form. Her habits change, both those of her heart and her tongue.
She begins to speak a new language. Her childhood vocabulary survives inside her; she spoke it for twenty years. But she’s learning new words, new sentences, new responses and new meanings. They flow from her as her new friends embrace, encourage and forgive. Again and again.
The new language slowly replaces the old. She learns, day by day, how to approach her new Father, one who smiles as she comes near.
What have you learned to associate with love from your family, society, or culture?
Does this line up with what Paul describes as love in 1 Corinthians 13?
How do you understand the word “love”? Why?
© Revolworks 2006