I’ve watched approximately seven Boy Meets World episodes in their entirety, though plenty of passing clips. I’ve blogged about this show in the past, including its spinoff, because my younger sister would watch it after school, and the strong friendship between Corey and Shawn always kept my eyes craning.
Lately, life circumstances have again caused me to draw from the well of this TGIF sitcom.
Deep into the series, Topanga’s parents get divorced, and it scares her into breaking up with long-time boyfriend, Cory. “It’s just too painful to think about,” she tells him.
Ending up like her parents.
Devastated after decades of love.
Why put yourself through love for the inevitable chasm to come?
Indeed, relationships seem to equate devastation. I feel it swirling inside me. I see it forming on the horizon. Like doom sliding down a mountainside.
A few years ago, I hit one of my roughest patches. I’d just moved back to southern California — for the second time — and had nowhere to live. My old roommates had graduated college and moved back to their respective homes, and I wound up moving to the arid foothills of Yorba Linda. For three long months, I lived in a middle-aged married couple’s spare bedroom, cooking in their kitchen, making small talk by the washer/dryer, and walking up and down their carpeted staircase lined with African masks and bones.
My car also happened to self-destruct for my first week-and-a-half back in SoCal, and I felt utterly separated from anyone who loved or even might love me. My old roommates. My church. My family.
How on earth did I get here?
There in the hills by an old train track, a new Brandon Heath song tugged on all my existential anxieties. I once did a countdown of my favorite Brandon Heath songs and placed this one at #2, but if I had to redo the list today, it’d undoubtedly be #1.
One day, this — all of this — will turn to dust. This coffee shop where I type these words. This laptop receiving them. This website posting them. This server storing them. This living breathing person embodying them.
And so the same with love. To dust.
It’s been said that of faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love. And I’ve never understood why, quite honestly.
Wouldn’t faith be the greatest? Isn’t faith in God or Jesus the starting point for eternal life?
Or hope — isn’t hope the greatest of all? That all the wrong things will be made right, that this life we live has meaning, that we will survive and live and one day belong, forever?
Love is the greatest — it feels like a cop-out. “Love never fails” and “love is forever” feel cliche and forced and not at all true.
Topanga’s parents and countless innocent kids’ parents get divorced all the time.
Lust and lies infest the soil.
Friendships fall apart.
People hold grudges, deservedly or undeservedly, and love doesn’t survive the war.
Love fails. Love fails all the time.
How on earth is love greater than faith and hope?
We can’t run from what is coming . . . down the mountainside . . .
~ ~ ~
I don’t remember where I recently heard it — I’ve been racking my brain trying — but I’m appreciating this explanation for love’s worth. Even though I’m still not fully on board with it.
Faith and hope — these are things practiced and yearned for in this life, only to be fulfilled in the next.
But love — love spans both realms. We love temporarily here, and we will love eternally there.
In eternity, we will no longer have faith and hope. But we will still love.
And I kinda get this concept mentally; I do. I have an amazing family, and my family has always been there, and, thus, family feels forever, I guess, even though I will most likely watch my grandparents and parents and aunts and uncles die while walking this earth.
And I have some amazing friends. Really, I do. But most of my friendships fizzle after only a year or two, and the ones that have somehow survived longer feel destined to a similar fate.
They’ll mess things up.
Or I will.
Both have happened.
We’re all human here; I don’t suppose I can blame them more than I can blame myself.
For most of my life, love has felt like an hourglass already tipped over, already losing sand, and I’m rushing to squeeze in at least a last goodbye before the next hourglass is turned, and the next, and —
Love feels less like clouds spanning multiple realms and more like doom crashing down the arid mountains.
And I don’t know where that leaves me right now. Other than yearning with faith and hope that love will survive this broken realm as promised. Faith and hope give me more reason to take today’s steps, and tomorrow’s, and the week ahead’s.
It’s difficult to open my hands and trust love sweeping over me. How I need love to prove her worth and crash into me, time and again. Whether I believe in her or not.
To invoke another Brandon Heath song . . . maybe love will find me, flow through me like a river.