Love. Does love, true, real love exist today?
I think it would be easy to think, from first appearances, that in our culture and society love has ceased to exist. I could list thousands of reasons why this could be thought:
That homeless man on the street
The amount of people getting divorced each year
The strive in society for one night stands
The levels of prostitution in the world
The amount of people who have no food to eat and no water to drink
The amount of children who fight for their lives, who feel deserted, who feel unloved
I name but a few. None of these things are love, they are empty of love. What do they need? They need love. I know, its cheesy but it is true, ‘All you need is love’.
Perhaps love exists in the movies? I have spent many hours of my life, some people may say wasting my life, watching films. Do I think it is wasted? No, absolutely not. It is important to remember that most films are completely fictional; they were made up by some ever so imaginative person who manages to reproduce the same plot line into another romantic comedy. Ok, so I’m being a bit harsh, I actually love romantic comedies, particularly ones that make me cry with sadness, as well as laughter.
However, it is important to come back to reality after watching a film. Films are created and produced in such a way that they force you to feel emotions about things in a way that is perhaps not always what is good or right. However once you realise this and ensure you return to reality after each film, watching films and learning from them can be amazing.
‘New Year’s Eve’ is a film filled with love, it demonstrates love in many of its forms. Broken love, hopeful love, young love, Father to Daughter love, love between friends, new love. I would love to quote the whole film, but I think that would be slightly boring, so I chose my two favourite speeches from it.
A lady who’s been hurt by her Dad, but knows he is likely to die that night addresses the world, as the New York ball drop that she is in charge of has stopped:
“As you all can see the ball has stopped half way to its porch. It's suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the New Year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To remember both our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures or close ourselves down for fear of getting hurt. Cause that's what New Year's is all about, getting another chance. The chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about what if and start embracing what will be. So when that ball drops at midnight, and it will drop, let's remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight, but all year long.”
On face value this is a great save from someone who just doesn’t want to lose her job. But really, behind these words is a message that makes me turn inside. It makes me say, ‘LOOK! Look at what could be!’ No one is perfect, we all run away for fear of being hurt, we all mess up because we simply made a mistake, we did the wrong thing, we all break promises. Is that the end? No, if we choose we can step out, and start making choices that will build others up, and improve ourselves, we can get that chance, “The chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about what if and start embracing what will be.” Let’s love the lost, the broken, the oppressed of the world, and start to change towards a life that is more fulfilled in the now and more hopeful for the future.
My favourite part of the film, is as the nurse who has showed such care and attention towards her patient, goes and gets changed into her best clothes, ready to video call the man she loves, looking her best for him, even though he is on the other side of the world. After a long, hard, tiring day at work she could easily go to talk to him in her work clothes, complaining about how tiring and how hard life is. Instead she chooses to clothe herself in a way that will show to him that she loves him and misses him, and she spends the precious few minutes she has to talk to him, celebrating with joy the moments she can share with him.
How do we present ourselves to God? When we choose to talk to him, do we come tired, and worn out, asking him to sort out our many problems, and falling asleep mid-sentence. God says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) It is important to know that God loves you however you are, but are we showing our love for Him, if we only present ourselves before Him when times are tough and we are going through a rough patch? We need to make time for God in the celebrations, presenting ourselves before him clothed in the beauty of joy, and awe, and wonder. Thanking Him for all the blessings and gifts He has given, rejoicing at the works of His hands.
As the film comes to a close, the voice over reflects:
“Sometimes it feels like there are so many things we can't control, earthquakes, floods, reality shows. But it's important to remember the things we can, like forgiveness, second chances, fresh starts. Because the one thing that turns the world from a lonely place to a beautiful place, is love. Love in any of its forms. Love gives us hope, hope for the New Year. That's New Year's Eve to me. Hope, and a great party.”
I know that there are things that I can’t control, I find it hard to make sense of them, but as the film says, there are things I can control. Do my thoughts, words and actions flow with forgiveness? Giving people second chances, as God does? Loving with His Love? If I want to be a bringer and giver of hope, I need to start letting God’s unconditional love flow from me.
Does love exist? I am more than convinced that it does, for I know God’s love for me, and I understand that His love is unconditional, His love has no bounds. His love can bring hope to places with no love left, places empty of love.