I've had a few crushes in the twenty-seven years I've inhabited this world. Two or three serious ones. I wouldn't say I've ever been in love, exactly, and I've certainly never been in a relationship, physical or otherwise.
I think I mentioned that I'm playing the lead in a local production of Romeo and Juliet. I'll have to kiss the actor playing Romeo, and the idea of my first ever actual kiss being onstage, in front of other people, with a guy I'm pretending to be in love with and who is also pretending to be in love with me, is beyond weird.
Now, I don't particularly want to kiss this guy, but I recognize that Romeo and Juliet sans kissing would just be ridiculous, and I am an actress, in a manner of speaking, and I figure I can handle it and probably do a pretty good job, even if I've never kissed anyone before. I have an amazing director and at twenty-seven I'm beginning to outgrow the worst of my awkwardness around any and all persons of the male persuasion.
But boy, would I like to kiss somebody.
In my teens (and later), my crushes were intellectual, emotional, not based on physical desires--or if they were, I wouldn't admit it, even to myself. It's only very lately that I've started to recognize that aspect of my humanity; to realize that, even if there's nobody currently filling up the "crush" slot in my mind and heart, I still want the things that could go along with being in love. I want to kiss someone. I want a real, not-for-stage, lips-interlocking, wrapped-around-each-other-like-a-two-ply-strand-of-yarn, dizzyingly romantic movie kiss. I want it very badly. And that's not all I want.
I want God more. And He's given me a single life right now, and since that is what's in front of me and all around me, I know it's His will for me. He doesn't hide His will from us, He plunges us into it, like pineapple into a chocolate fondue. (That might have been a bad example, I'm hungry.) The life He's given me is His will manifested to me as clearly as it will ever be, and God and God's will aren't two different things, they're the same. And that means that loving Him and living this life to the fullest, joys, struggles, frustrations and all, are the same act. There is no difference, no separation.
In trying to figure out how to play Juliet, I've found myself challenged by my own inexperience. It's hard to play a love that all-encompassing without ever having lived it. But then Jesus gave me a snippet of very good acting advice, which was to base my ideas of Juliet's love for Romeo...on my love for Him.
I've never kissed a man, but I've kissed the feet of the corpus on my crucifix. I've gazed at the little red tabernacle light in a darkened church the way Juliet gazes into Romeo's eyes in that dark garden. I've whispered impossible promises no one could hear except Him, and heard Him whisper back.
Would I die for Him? Maybe not. I've always thought myself the sort likely to turn chicken if ever faced with the visible, visceral threat of martyrdom.
A few years ago, though, I chose to live for Him. Not just once, but many, many times over the eighteen months I was suicidal. I don't know, but I think it might have been harder.
And well, now I'm all covered in chocolate fondue. So what's with that?