– Karen Grace Soans
I was sitting and sniffling at my aunt’s place. Sick again. We decided to watch the movie Still Alice to take my mind off my nose that had been replaced overnight with a faucet.
The movie depicts Alice’s struggles with early onset Alzheimer’s. It ends with Alice, with a glass of juice between her trembling fingers, listening to Lydia, the youngest of her three daughters. Lydia recites a section of the play Angels in America and asks her one questions: “What was it about mom, what I just read?”
The movie ends with Alice’s one word reply. In the failed attempts of lost memory and fumbled speech, a single word leaps out of Alice’s mouth: Love.
As the credits rolled, I began thinking, about memory, identity and love. I have always wondered at this particular emotion. The Bible uses it as a description of God, saying that he IS love. What does it mean to be the very nature of Love? To be identified as the embodiment of an emotion as love? I was reminded of a sermon we had on love and relationships that talked of the different Greek words for love. Agape is a love given independent of the receiver. It is a hundred percent give, zero percent expect. Are we capable of Agape?
There is so much going on in the world. I sometimes feel like I’m living in a giant maze of gears. And the millions of decisions we make turn these gears every which way, eventually leading to the clanging and groaning of a machine I call humanity. I can hear it, whirring and chiming and constantly pushing forward, swept by the tide of time.
At such moments, the infinity of the universe catches up to my finite existence. The earth spins beneath my feet and my mind sinks into a deluge of what, where, how, why?
Why? Why? Why?
Could it be, that you hung, broken and bleeding, struggling for every breath, bearing the shameful act of crucifixion, for me? Me, a walking talking paradox. Torn between the self and servitude. Constantly trying to reach your standard and failing. With the same tongue I curse and bless. With the mind I have, I create and destroy. I act proud and vain, when I am broken inside. I do not ask for help when I need it the most. I am capable of so much joy and so much pain.
What is man that you are mindful of him? Mere man that you care for him? Will we ever comprehend the depth of your love and the act of the cross?
Christ on the cross was an expression of the love of a vast, infinite, creator God. It is a love we struggle to comprehend and accept because as humans in the flesh we are incapable of expressing it. It is a love given independent of us. It is Agape.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us Romans 5:6-8, The Bible
And in His final breath, Sin was defeated
The chasm was closed
The curtain was torn
Top to bottom
Will you enter?
Will you accept?
And when the infinite dwells
In our finite bodies
That is Love
That is Agape