She walked home slowly, alone. She was aware that, if her life was a movie, there would be sad music playing, that the camera shots would emphasize that she was the only one on the sidewalks, that she would look very small and forlorn in comparison to the size of even her small city. Her footsteps echoed in the quiet darkness. She was aware that in the story that would have been a movie, everyone would feel very sorry for her, and that she deserved their pity.
When the one person you really wanted pity from doesn’t even see you, you deserve others’ pity. When you walk home slowly, alone, and no one really even knows you left, it’s understandable that compassion should be there. When your smallness and loneliness in comparison to the love that should be is so stark…wouldn’t you want someone’s pity?
The funny thing is that as she walked home she was aware of how it would be in a movie. And she was sad that no one noticed, that she was going home to an empty house, that even her hopes of closure for the evening had been quietly crushed. She was aware of the incomprehensible irony that on an evening in which she had planned to lay to rest a cherished dream of supportive love, there had been public talk about how people really need supportive love. She was aware of how ridiculous it was that on the same evening she had planned to let go of the dream because the love she longed for was missing, that she had been filled with an inexplicable compassion for the one who didn’t see her. When anger had been her only ally, to steel her heart against further pain, it had deserted her; and in its place was only forgiving, patient love, an unexpected calm willingness to continue loving and hurting rather than disobey her God and give in to the bitterness and despair to which she was entitled.
She was aware that she should be as sad inside as the movie would look. She was very sad, but it was so quiet that it didn’t hurt like some other kinds of sadness. It was patient. She wondered if it was the kind of patience that the Bible talks about where it says “…we also exalt in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5) She wondered if that was what it was. Hope sounded good, although there was not much to be seen of it on this night of the lonely movie—just the promise of it in that patient acceptance in her heart.
Well, if there was hope, then there was the possibility of almost anything, wasn’t there? She was aware that the movie played on, its sound track a haunting melody, but not the kind that makes you shiver in the dark.