Getting in Love

Our church is in its annual At the Movies summer series right now, and today the pastor spoke using the movie, The Vow.  I haven’t seen the movie in its entirety but I’m sure that I’ll like it, given the clips I saw this morning.  It’s a romance; I might have to watch it with my girlfriends since I have visions of Sleepless in Seattle running through my head right now, the men in the room mocking our gushing.

During the first scene our pastor showed, when the couple first met, Lydia turned to me and whispered, “They are getting in love.” 

“How can you tell?” I asked, smiling.

“Because they are spending time together?” she replied, a hint of a question tagged on to the end.

Lydia’s love language must be quality time, like mine.  How does she know they are “getting in love”?  It’s obvious; their actions show it.  They commit time to one another, they go to their favorite places, eat meals, make an effort to be together and to see one another, to demonstrate adoration no matter what it takes or what needs to be sacrificed.

I like the phrase “getting in love.”  It’s so much more purposeful than “falling,” as if there’s effort involved, as if it isn’t just this casual slip over the cliff accidentally into love.  Because most of love is “getting into,” not falling.  Relying only on the falling is sure to end flat on the pavement.  Falling is being sideswiped, tripped up, rearended, stumbling, a big “oops!” I fell in love.  Getting is taking weighted steps in the direction of love, measured movements in order to acquire love, in order to present it to another person.  I want to get some of that love, not fall for it, like I’ve been deceived or enticed by an advertisement of happiness.

This slightly relates to the great message given by David Sherwood this Sunday, in which he talked about how God is in the business of wooing and romancing us to love him, not coercing or tricking us into love.  His gifts of mercy, grace, and forgiveness are offers to get in love.  He has made us “free and wild, to be free and wild, so that we might be able to choose to love him.”  That beautiful commitment, that vow to pour out unconditional love is an attempt to get our love back, to hear our simple whispered statement back, “I love you,” that when spoken to another fills the heart to spilling over.

So stop falling in love.  Go get in love.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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