A good plot twist reveals something new that changes everything. It causes you to flip backwards through the story, re-reading it with new eyes.
Suddenly things that didn’t quite make sense now do, other things that made sense now make sense in an entirely different way, and some things that seemed inconsequential now become profoundly meaningful.
This works in life just as it does in stories.
In chapter 1 of the human story, Man was drawn in love when he saw Woman. So much so in fact that he would leave everything he knew—mom, dad, home, everything—and give himself fully and forever just to be with her. Woman desired Man too, and in response to his gift, she’d give herself back to him. (Yep, I’m talking about marriage.)
Receiving her, Man would move beyond knowing about her to knowing her—all of her (her whole heart, mind, and body.) And she’d know all of him as well. In an incredible way, she would open herself to him, he’d enter her, she’d receive him, and with a sense of shared ecstasy, he’d pour out his life into her, she’d receive his life, and new life would be conceived. (Yep, I’m talking about sex.)
Some try to edit this story because it sounds too physical, too sexual for heavenly people. Others try to edit it because it sounds too unrealistic for physical, sexual people. In our own ways we’ve all taken our turns scribbling in the margins, crossing out words, writing new ones in.
But we’ve never completely left this story. We can’t shake that we’re connected to it somehow.
And into this enters Jesus, the heavenly One who is fully Man. He is the author. And He is the plot twist.
He leaves all he knows for the bride He loves. He loves her, defends her, woos her. She in turn rejects, curses, and kills Him. Naked and shamed, He forgives her, gives Himself fully for her, even to the point of death.
Now risen, He pursues her still, waits for her to receive Him, to give herself back to him that she may know Him as He knows her. He longs for her to trust and open herself to Him that she could receive His Life and live with Him now and forever.
Man, woman, romance, marriage, sex, family—the story we can’t shake. Jesus reveals they’re so powerful not because they are the story, but because they point to the Story.
Flipping back through the pages (the narrative of Scripture, the narratives of our most enduring art, and our own personal narratives), the Story of His love for us has been there all along.
And you, you’re meant not just to re-read with fresh eyes, but if you’ll dare, you’re meant to lift your eyes from the pages and find Him looking at you. You are the one He loves.
Whatever your relational and sexual landscape—your struggles, your losses, your failures, your longings—look back into the eyes of Christ. See there not a lesser passion, not a smaller love story, but the Passion and Love all other stories only echo. He is writing a better love story. And He intends you to join Him in it.
In His Story,