“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrival’s gate at Heathrow airport. General opinion is starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.
When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people onboard were messages of hate or revenge. They were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”
– Opening scene, Love Actually movie
Love is, according to Webster’s dictionary, “an intense feeling of deep affection.” In the opening scene of Love Actually, we see this deep affection personified in warm embraces, joyful homecomings, kisses, smiles, and laughs.
I would have to agree with Hugh Grant that the arrival gate at any airport is one of my favorite places to people watch. As a Texan transplant living in Pennsylvania, I have spent a lot of time running into the arms of loved ones at Dallas Love Field or Philadelphia International Airport. And the feeling never gets old. In fact, I have found that my affection for my Texas family and Pennsylvania friends (who have quickly become like family) only grows with each departure and arrival.
Every imperfect person standing on the other side of the arrival gate has chosen to patiently wait for their loved one to appear. No matter their relationship’s past history, what was last said or done, that individual is found waiting, watching, wondering when their loved one will arrive. They have chosen to wait for them.
When I consider my relationship with Jesus, I easily equate it to Him choosing to wait for me at an airport’s arrival gate. Like in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), the father patiently waits and watches for his son to one day return home. Despite the hurt, disappointment, and betrayal the father must have felt when his youngest son took his inheritance and “squandered his property in reckless living” (Lk.15:13), he still waited and hoped to celebrate his son’s homecoming one day. The love the father has for his son runs too deep to allow any choice to alter it.
And the love God has for us is the same way.
No matter how long it takes me to deplane, get my luggage, wander through crowds, He is found waiting and searching for me. Even when my affection starts to fade, my heart begins to wander, or I begin looking for someone or something else to love me instead of Him, He still waits for me. His choice to love me is unshakable, immovable, and never ending. And it is that love that keeps drawing me back to Him.