The greatest Love Story Ever Told

April, 1997

Oscar always depresses me.

I watched the Academy Awards last night - even though the only nominated movie I have seen is "Fargo," - and I think I managed to miss every eventful moment.

When Billy Crystal was appearing in scenes from the nominated movies, I was getting Marcela out of the tub. Just as Cuba Gooding was exuberantly making his way to the podium to accept his award, Blackie had to go outside. I HEARD the hoopla from the kitchen... all the really good stuff happened while I was out of the room.

But the Academy Awards usually leave me feeling depressed.

It isn't all the stretch limousines, or the fancy (often silly), cleavage-revealing dresses, it isn't the thought of all-night Hollywood parties... or just how many MILLIONS of dollars these people are making.

No, it is just the fact that these are people who have realized their dreams.

And once again I found myself wondering just what it is I am doing with MY life. (Especially when, year after year, more and more of those people I am envying are younger than I am! ... a LOT younger than I am...)

The plain truth of the matter is, they are out there living their dreams - and I am sitting like a lump on the couch watching TV.

Then I got to thinking about the movies they make, "The English Patient" especially; beautifully photographed, a sweeping, epic love story (I am guessing anyway, from the clips I saw). Movies like that seem to celebrate what living is all about; living with passion, loving with passion - living FULLY. Grabbing a hold of life and really LIVING it.

And I found myself wishing I could be a part of something like that - wishing I could be living a LIFE like that.

I want a life of that kind of PASSION.

But I know, I know - I can hear you! Life ISN'T the movies.

People generally don't have great, passionate love affairs in the deserts of Africa. Mostly they go to work, try to get a decent meal on the table, and, in our case, clean up dog poop.

But then...

I realized that I am dangerously close to being like the guy who finds an old painting in his attic and sells it at a garage sale for $2.50, only to discover too late that what he had was a priceless Rembrandt.

At this very moment I AM living the greatest love story ever told. My life here with Dani and the kids - even with all the silly aggravations and frustrations I like to whine about so much - is a part of the greatest love story ever told, the greatest love story that will ever BE told, the love story that all other love stories are only a shadow of.

It is the love story that is being told this very week of Easter.

It is the story of Jesus' love for me.

He shared his life with me. He has walked with me every day, teaching me, feeding me, healing me.

And when he rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and the throngs of cheering people pressed around him, he was a conquering hero.

At the last Supper we broke bread together, and he promised he would be with me always.

And for his love, I betrayed him. I led him into the arms of enemy soldiers. He was mocked and tortured. And though he loved me, I denied knowing him.

When he was led away to be nailed to a cross, I ran away. I was the guilty one. I was the one who deserved death. Still he loved me with a love so deep he was willing to die for me. And when he died in my place so that I could live - I wasn't even there. I went about my life, too busy with my own concerns to give a thought to him.

Still he loved me. Even though I was indifferent, uncaring, unfaithful - he loved me with the greatest love the world has ever known. That is how passionately Jesus loved me.

That is how passionately Jesus loves me still.

That is my life's true story. And one day it will have a Hollywood ending that will put to shame even the greatest Oscar winning movie ever made.*


*...and then I can dance up to the stage to receive MY Oscar - "Best Performance By A Putz In A Leading Role."

by Paul Dallgas-Frey
April 9th, 1997

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