“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way.”
As a photographer, it is my job to watch people, to anticipate their expressions, their interactions, in an effort to capture even a minute glimpse of who they really are. I’ve been watching this couple from afar for a while now. For a while I wasn’t even sure they were a couple. I’ve seen them in church and at the pool and, while they do act lovingly towards one another, it is so subdued that it hadn’t really occurred to me that they really are more than friends. And since these two were leaders at our church’s Vacation Bible School recently, I watched more. On the last day of VBS, they wore these shirts. You can’t tell it from the pictures (which I hope they will not be too disappointed about), but when they get close together, the hearts on their shirts light up! When they are apart, the hearts’ lights go out one by one the farther apart they get. I couldn’t take it one bit longer. I boldly asked them both if I could take pictures of them that day, and they gladly agreed 🙂
What’s important about this story, though, is that I realized that the reason I didn’t initially see that they were in love isn’t because it was that subdued. It is because what I see every day (or many days) as “in love” is physically displayed between two people. Kissing, hugging, flirting. Those are all characteristics of a couple in love. These two are so very inspiring to me because they don’t do those things, at least not in public. And that, my friends, is a godly relationship. Whether they know it or not, they are representing God with their relationship in a way I haven’t quite seen before in such young people. The exude love for one other, but it seems so pure and sweet and clean.
So none of this really occurred to me until I had them in that little alleyway behind our church. For 10 minutes I was in their world and it was such a privilaged 10 minutes. I got to see up close and personal something I never had as a teenager, something many many people never have, a young, godly relationship and love. It is always amazing to me that there are young men like him and young women like her still in existence in today’s world, and they give me hope that my girls can have what they have one day. These two may get married. They may not. But what’s important is what they are reflecting to the world right now. They love each other without pride or mystery or lies. They love each other because they just do. They love each other because they know no different, because they know no other way. God loves us because he is love and knows no other way. And I’m sure his heart lights dim when we are not near him, and, believe it or not, ours do too.