Saturday, December 15, 2012

Love is Welcome Here

Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80's movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie. 
on a Facebook page

Only three of my actual friends have "liked" my new web page Cooking in Athens. When someone from the unknown public likes my page (on Facebook), I'm curious. How did they find me? What do they like? The quote (above) is from someone who "liked" my page. It stuck with me the past few days.

The eighties were my teenage years. These were the "coming of age" escapist movies  (referenced above) that held off the grimmer days of high school and the tail end of the cold war.

In Say Anything (1989) John Cusack's character announces his love by holding a boom box outside his beloved's window. In Can't Buy Me Love (1987) Patrick Dempsey drives off on a lawnmower with the girl, having dispensed with the need for acceptance and popularity contests prevalent in high school. Molly Ringwald whines her way through her Sixteen Candles (1984) and not unlike a Disney princess movie, she changes very little. Prince Charming (Jake) eventually finds her when she exits the church at her sister's wedding. Breakfast Club (1985) the rebel, Judd Nelson, gives the girl his earring and her acceptance of it is the recognition that she's his.

Why is it that we want Prince Charming to find us and wake us up with a kiss to happily ever after? Perhaps what we're really longing for is simplicity?

This puts the onuses on the other, the prince, to recognize and find the intrinsic value of the outsider, the nerd, the pampered teenager, the rebel. To think that our worth will be recognized by others is probably easier than delving into our own innards.

We overlook people everyday: He's weird. She talks too much. They're rich. They're poor. They're hicks. She's got problems. He's a nerd. She's fancy. Whether you are a widowed spouse or a lonely white boy, we all want recognition, we all want love. Some pine, some kill, and too many of us ignore each other and ourselves.

About a year ago I read this letter (excerpt only) from Glennon on Momastery:

Hey Baby.
Tomorrow is a big day. Third Grade – wow.

Chase – When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam. 
Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like yours do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either. 
And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely. 
I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me. 
I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are some of God’s gifts to you.

So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.

Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a little part of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust that heart- ache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your heart-ache. That heart ache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Chase! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.

Listen with an open heart to the ones you meet momentarily, to the ones you find difficulty talking with, to the ones you wish you knew better, and to yourself. Let go of what you think is the right answer, but start from love. Love is important to get and to give.


Go find something beautiful. Watch the sunrise. Read a poem. Play with flowers. Bake bread. Watch the fire. Nurture love and goodness. Greet strangers and lovers alike.

Maybe Prince Charming or an estranged loved one will find you, but leave a trail of love behind you to make it obvious, "Love is Welcome Here."

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