And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
As I sat down to write with a blank document staring back at me, the words “Where do I begin?” slipped from my mouth and within an instant of saying those four simple words, the Love Story theme song danced through my head. “Where do I begin, to tell the story of how great a love can be, the sweet love story that is older than the sea...” Oh my goodness, who but God is older than the sea? How could there be a sweeter love story than the one recorded in my Bible sitting next to me? Could the song possibly have been written as a love song to Him?
I quickly went on a search to discover the song’s origin. It was first introduced as an instrumental theme song in the 1970 film Love Story. The very famous melody composed by Francis Lai is woven throughout the motion picture as the story of human love and life unfolds. The story ends tragically with the death of Jenny, the twenty-five year old college sweetheart and wife of Oliver Barrett IV, a Harvard law school graduate and millionaire.
The film will soon be fifty years old and is considered one of the most romantic of all times by the American Film Institute. I didn’t see the movie when I was a teenager in the 1970’s. After viewing it for the first time as a woman with many life experiences behind me, I couldn’t help but think how differently I would have viewed the story as a teen or twenty-something year old. I am sure that I would have been deeply moved by it. It quite possibly could have been my favorite movie of all time. It, like me, was filled with sadness.
As a young woman, I would have thought that Jenny was lucky to have found Ollie, her name of affection for him. You see, I was much like Jenny as a girl. Longing, wishing and hoping for someone to love me like Oliver loved her. I was desperately searching for someone to care for me and love me. Unfortunately, like Jenny, I had decided against God. Like her, I used His name in vain, and sarcasm was second nature to me. I was also raised Catholic and yet had never believed. I had violated God’s perfect plan for sexual intimacy while looking for a man who could fill the emptiness in me. I admired external beauty and longed for worldly wealth and fame.
As a grown-up girl who met an Ollie or two along the way, I know from experience that a love story without God at the center might not make it forever. In the movie, Jenny dies and we don’t know what would have happened if it was a real-life story that needed to stand the test of time. Would Oliver have continued to love her into her 40s and 50s and beyond? Would he have resisted the advances of a gorgeous young paralegal in his law firm because of his great love for Jenny? Would her inability to conceive a child have sent him on a search for a woman who could? There are countless scenarios that have been played out in our real-life stories which tell us that if Jenny had lived, her “perfect” love story might have died.
...to be continued.