No Such Thing as Perfect Love
Yesterday I watched a movie I had not seen for quite some time. Its called 'The Secret Life of Bees'. I forgot how much the movie moved me. I found myself grabbing the Kleenex box. Of course with the struggles I have endured here recently, the tissues have had to be handy lately. Besides, every girl needs to have a good ole Scarlet O'Hara type crying jag every once in a while.
Ok back to the movie. So the main star is a young blonde girl around 14 years of age. Her name is Lily and she is played by Dakota Fanning. She is a character torn in her soul to say the least. There was a tragic accident she experienced as a 7 year old girl. During another screaming fight between her parents, she finds herself picking up a gun. Somehow in the wrestling between her parents, a gun goes sliding underneath the closet door she is hiding in. In her attempt to try to give it to her mother so she could defend herself against T-Ray, Lily's father, the gun goes off. The bullet finds its way to her mother and kills her. Yes this is the first scene.
Her father T-Ray was already a bitter and hateful man, but his anger took on a deeper force of hatred against Lily for what she had done. This, coupled with the rejection he was feeling in his own heart, created an abusive relationship with his own daughter. Lily was punished in severe ways for doing things most kids would not even be punished for. Its as if he was looking for ways to hurt her and ease his own pain. For example, he would have her kneel on hard uncooked grits on the hardwood floor for two hours until her knees bled. Cruel to say the least.
You see Lilly's mother had planned on leaving T-Ray. So we begin the movie with this flashback and it sets the stage for you to understand why Lily is afraid of her Father and misses her mother terribly. The few memories she has of her mother along with lies her father has told her leave her so confused as to whether her mother actually ever loved her.
In the very beginning of the movie she says, "My whole life has been nothing but a hole, where my mother should have been. It always left me aching." There just isn't enough evidence for Lily to figure out whether she was loved by her mother or not. Her father was incredibly hateful and told her over and over that her mother didn't love her and she left her. So Lily sets out on a journey to try to prove that her mother loved her. If she can just find evidence she was loved then everything will finally be ok.
What is the one thing, if you could just find it, would make everything finally ok? Have you attempted to step beyond that day once you attained it? I've heard countless testimonies from successful people who achieved the dream only to find themselves once again empty, frantically searching for the next goal. Lily may or may not get her answer, but what her soul needs is for it to know she is loved. Like Lily we all find ourselves asking someone, whether its a parent, a companion or even a child of our own; am I enough? Do you love me?
August, the character Played by Queen Latifa, has a heart to heart with Lily about her mother. You see, August knew Lily's mother well. She knew Lily's mother did in fact leave Lily and T-Ray because it was her very home she ran away to. Long ago Lily's mother found refuge in August's home. So August tells Lily the truth about her leaving Lily and that she knew her mother well.
While the confused tears water the big blue eyes of Lily's face, August says gently, "Darlin, there just ain't no such thing as perfect love. There is nothing perfect, there is only life." The power of this statement strikes deep into the core of a little girl who feels the weight of the world on her shoulders. She feels responsible for her mother's death and can't imagine being loved. She thinks others are perfectly loved because they haven't made the mistakes she has.
The tears on her face aren't just about her mother, but over the many lies she has told August and all her sisters who she was temporarily living with. In fact, the reason they let her come and stay, even that was built on a lie. Lily came clean with August and she expected to be reprimanded and kicked out. Instead she's met with compassion and understanding. This kindness isn't something she's ever had as a response when she's done something wrong.
While August didn't get angry or tell her to leave, she does confront her with sharp-edged wisdom about life and its tragedies all while wrapping her in a firm hug. Her words weren't false promises about how everything is going to be ok. Instead she guides Lily into accepting the good and the bad that come with life. She knows its much more important that Lily be prepared to deal with the fact she may never get her answers this side of heaven. I think she was trying to make sure Lily understood that even when a person loves you, that love is imperfect. Lily's mother was not a perfect mother and made mistakes.
Sometimes we need to be wounded by a friend and immediately apply pressure rather than being sugar coated with lies. If Satan can't get you to stop having faith, he will do his best to make sure you are very disappointed. His best tricks are on the lips of others who just apply a band aid and tell you if you have enough faith everything will work out for you. Good intentions can still carry false hope that sets us up for sheer disappointment. Then we find ourselves questioning the goodness of God because, "Wasn't God supposed to come through for me and grant my wishes? Doesn't he love me?"
I'm afraid we don't have a God who cooperates with us. While that seems dim, trust me you don't want a God like that. You want one who sees everything and knows every detail of your life. He can turn all things into something beautiful but only He knows best how to unweave the mess we got ourselves in. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Jesus didn't give us a prosperity gospel, he gave us raw truth. He said you will have trouble in this life. But there is a BUT just after that statement. "But take heart! I have overcome the world."
I agree with August. There is no such thing as perfect love down here on earth. However, I do believe there was a time when perfect love was among us. He didn't stay all that long, but he did the work God sent him to do. He made all things new. He left us with the hope that one day he would wipe away every tear from our eyes. His love was and is perfect. The bible says his perfect love drives out all fear. It doesn't say some of your fears, no, all of them. You can sit with the promise that you are completely loved.
How we began to hang our hat on other's to tell us who we are is one the enemy's oldest tricks. Its essential for him to get you to place your faith in anyone but God. It's always been his plan from the beginning to make you doubt God's goodness towards you. Disguised as a serpent in the garden he told Adam and Eve God was holding out on them and he could not be trusted. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5 ~The serpent in the garden
It worked then and continues to work so why would he change his strategy? Or maybe his best trick of all is to make you think the spiritual realm of angels and demons, including himself, don't even exist? Its a great scheme to wage war against you and you don't even know the true source. Then he can get you to hate your brother and ultimately despise God. To make you hate someone and not the sin in them, that's ideal. Lies are the arrows in his arsenal.
Lily was covered in lies. While its true about no such thing as perfect love, I would have added to August's speech. I would have told Lily there was once perfect love that walked in her shoes and he is still alive today. I would tell her he is a prayer away and loves her more than any mother could.
One thing I love that August told her is that women are particularly designed in a special way. She said, "Women make the best beekeepers, cause they have a special ability in them to love things that sting. " I think God gave us that special ability because He has it. We are made in his image. God knows well what real physical pain can be like when you choose love. He chose the cross and loved his enemies to the point of death. We were once this enemy and yet he chose us. "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5: 6-8
“I hadn't been out to the hives before, so to start off she gave me a lesson in what she called 'bee yard etiquette'. She reminded me that the world was really one bee yard, and the same rules work fine in both places. Don't be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Still, don't be an idiot; wear long sleeves and pants. Don't swat. Don't even think about swatting. If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates while whistling melts a bee's temper. Act like you know what you're doing, even if you don't. Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.” ~Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Yes, every little thing wants to be loved. But find the source of your love in what matters. Jesus matters. He is love. And yes, “Sometimes the hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.” ~Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Could we with ink the ocean fill And were the skies of parchment made Were every stalk on earth a quill And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry Nor could the scroll contain the whole Though stretched from sky to sky
~Hymn: Love of God