Her eyes met his across the room, his lips formed a gentle smile, a soft fluttering began somewhere deep inside. Could it be?
Was this… the spark?
They talk, about simple and witty things, in a coffee shop around the corner the tiny spark burst into flame, a burning desire.
They start “falling in love“, winding their stories together. Spending hours, days together, questions answered, anticipation stoked. Lives intricately starting to dance in some foreign yet welcome rhythm.
Finally, on his knees, he begs her to make him the happiest man in the world, her answer wraps his arms around her, he sweeps her of her feet and in true storybook fashion the air is filled with magic.
This story, repeated for centuries, only the details and surroundings ever change. The grand scheme, the romance, remains the same.
But every now and then there is a story, that begins a little differently. A tale not quite so dramatic. More like two steams, who come together quietly, naturally, friends turned lovers.
As I watch, from a distance, two people start the most basic of human events, finding a mate, a life companion, another half of themselves, I’m left to wonder, would we better off if perhaps there was no spark, at first at least? If our decisions didn’t have to contend with our lusts? Would we make more or less compromises, more wise or more foolish choices?
I once heard a man talk about how little a spark was necessary, even as his wife sat across the table. The gentleman guest at the table was quick to insist that the spark was the beginning. His wife nodding fiercely her approval of his statements. From their body language and obvious passion, it was easy to tell their flame burned bright. As the only single lady at the table I was asked to settle the matter, does there or does there not have to be a spark?
To this day that question haunts me. If a man meets all the criteria, if he is, on paper, my perfect guy, if he is tolerably handsome, should I allow a relationship? Give him a chance? If I do, what if we date/court for months and there still isn’t a spark? Marry him and hope that later it will come?
On the other hand, what if the spark is all wrong? What if your heart turns into a sparkler just thinking about this man who isn’t what you wanted, who’s all wrong for you?
Do you give up the vision you had? Do you simply change who you are to accommodate a romantic life? Will that last? How long can the spark go without the unified vision and purpose in everyday life?
What happens, those of you who believe in sparks, when the only spark you ever get is for a man who is already committed?
Have we created a culture, a singles scene based on mere physical reaction? Is the spark more important to us than loyalty, honor, steadiness?
What do we want more? Marriages with purpose, two people who join forces to accomplish more than they could alone or marriages that are like fires with a limited supply of wood? Can we have both of these?
How did Christ love the church? He died for her. There was a strong enough spark for Him to leave unimaginable glory for us. His love for us still burning passionately enough to intercede for us daily after thousands of years. With the steadfastness of an ocean, His love overwhelms us, every morning…
Are we capable of loving like this? The only thing I claim to know about love or marriage is this, unless the two be lovers of Christ, they cannot truly love each other.