Sunday, February 17, 2013

Unlimited Love

I adored me some Miguel. I fell in love with him on Feb 14. I was in Starbucks, they were offering a free download of his song "Adorn", I took it. All of my non-secular music listening friends, you can skip this post. I don't want to offend. But have patience for a minute, and see if you like where I am going with this first.

Anyway, I played that song out, over and over and over again. I played it in my car, I had to hear it before I went for my workout. I played it while I was writing. I was that obsessed with it. I thought it was all so romantic, I wanted someone to adorn me with love too.

On Feb 16, I woke up with fragment of a song running through my head: “Your love for me is forever, your love for me is forever.” It was the bridge from Fred Hammond's song "No Greater Love." I started thinking about God's love. Unconditional. Irrevocable. Merciful. Forgiving. Eternal. He said so Himself through Paul in Romans 8:35-39:

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What love, what amazing love.

Sometimes I forget how much God loves me because I am stuck thinking about all the prayers that I want answered right now. I wonder if those prayers are running into a steel door up there in heaven because it feels like the more I pray, the more nothing is happening. Meanwhile, it seems as if everyone else in the world are getting their prayers answered in an instant, which frankly is just pure envy on my part.

As I sit in the waiting room, watching the time pass by without the physical manifestation of my desires, the little voices of doubt tick out the hour: He doesn't care. He doesn't hear. He doesn't see. He has forgotten you. Just do you.

Of course those words are straight lies. After all God said in Isaiah, in response to a similar statement made by the Israelites:

Yet Jerusalem says, “The Lord has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.”Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.” Isaiah 49:14-16 NLT

The most amazing thing about this God-love is that it is offered freely to anyone who wishes to have a part of it, there is no prequalification and no need for pre approval.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:6-8 NLT

Most important of all, once we get it, we don't have to do anything to keep it.
I think this continues to be my stumbling block, wanting to earn God's approval and God's blessings instead of resting in His grace. With God's help though, I know I will learn how to trust in His love. Meanwhile, I thank God for the best adornment of all. 

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adornherself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ó le Kú...

This time the movie, not the song or the outfits.

I have loved this movie since I first watched it more than a decade ago. I watched it again this past Thursday when Tunde Kelani released Ó Le Kú part 2 on YouTube as a Valentine's day gift to his fans.

I think I have watched this movie at least three times, and each time i have been captivated by Ajani's and Asake's love story.  I love the detail and authenticity of the movie set. Lastly, the Yoruba language  and culture is showcased in all its glory. It's an awesome movie from an awesome director. If you haven't had the opportunity to watch it, please do.

This last viewing though, I found myself paying closer attention to the supporting characters,  in particular, Asake's father. For example, Asake's father was vehemently against her marriage to Ajani until she completed her university education, and he did everything that he could to prevent their union from happening.

At first viewings, I thought "this old man is just mean. After all, she can go to school and be married."

But then he said something that blew me away: "My entire hope is in Asake." He wanted her to have his family name on her diploma not that of her husband's. He wanted her to bring that honor of being a graduate to his family.  That was an amazing thing for that time period - early 70s, especially in a world where boy children are infinitely preferred over girl children, and some even consider educating a girl child to be a waste of money. After all, she is only going to go to her husband's house anyway, so why bother. Even in this century, some parts of the world have even gone as far as banning the education of girls.

I felt sorry for her poor father, powerfully portrayed by Chief Lere Paimo. He loved his daughter and wanted HIS best for her but his way of expressing his love was just so harsh. Love without communication.

Some things have not changed though, namely the men and their playeristic ways, and Ajani's friends made me quite upset. But I won't say anymore, watch it for yourself, and if you are so inclined, let's discuss it a bit.