The bailiff calls out, “All rise! Now presiding, the Honorable Judge John Hawthorne.”
“You may be seated,” says Judge Hawthorne with an authoritative, friendly voice, “We are here today in the case of Williams versus Love. Mr. Williams, I understand that you think love should be executed, and all ideas of love and romance should be put to death?”
I reply, “Correct, your Honor.”
“Well, let’s hear your opening statements. I will allow the prosecution to speak first,” adds Judge Hawthorne.
My lawyer, Alexander Whitman says, “Your Honor, my client has asked that he present our opening statement.”
Judge Hawthorne states, “This a very unusual circumstance, but I will allow it.”
“Your Honor, Maya Angelou once said, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” While this quote is one of my favorite quotes, there is no mention of how quick or how slow love jumps the hurdles, leaps the fences, penetrates the walls. Since there is no mention of time in correlation to love, I am left to think that there is no truth to this quote,” I argue, “Why am I left to think this? Well, because it has been a little over a year and love has not reached its destination for me. On October 2, 2019 I met this girl named Riley for the first time. On March 10, 2020, I asked Riley out on a date. On March 12, 2020, a global pandemic took over. (Read more of the story in my previous blog posts “Trusting God” and “Untangling the Ropes.”) Although I was successful in my ask on March 10, 2020, that date has yet to happen and just the other day, I posted some of my true feelings towards Riley on Instagram without mentioning her but hoping she would know I was talking about her. So, here I am wondering these three things: Does love actually exist?, Is there truth to Maya Angelou’s quote?, and Does love really have a destination?
Does love actually exist or is it just some abstract idea to fill life with a bunch of ups and downs as if adding excitement to a rollercoaster? Before I attempt to answer this question, let me give you some insight into my thinking. One, I am not the emotional, lovey-dovey, open type of person.
I was not raised on emotions and I really do not like emotions. Growing up I often thought of relationships in a transactional, business mind frame… I give to you and you give to me with no emotions and no attachments involved. Two, I sexualize women too much. This is a horrible truth that I’m not proud of, but I recognize that I do it. However, I didn’t realize how much I sexualized women until I got in college and I was surrounded by a campus full of Christians everyday. Lastly, my desire for a dating relationship is rooted in the sensual pleasure and the ability to “show-off” on social media… at least that how I thought before I met Riley. So, back to the question of does love actually exist? If you would have asked me this before I met Riley, I would have told you, “No, love does not actually exist. It’s just an abstract idea.” I would have even asked you, “How can it exist if it’s a dog eats dog world and relationships are just for sensual pleasure?” However, my thinking has changed. Now, I would say that love exists because it’s a dog eats dog world and because relationships are for sensual pleasure. I’ll come back to this idea at the end of my statement. For a moment, let’s consider Maya Angelou’s quote.
Is there truth to this quote? I used to think so, but lately I’m more inclined to think it’s more fiction than fact. When it comes to commitment and relationships, for me, the tension is too great that often my relationships suffer due to my lack of commitment. Going into freshman year of college, I wanted to have “fun” in my romantic pursuits. My idea was to talk to a girl for a couple of weeks, take her out for one or two dates, then cut her off. However, when I realized that my desire just didn’t fit the environment I was in, I thought that for sophomore year I would make my romantic pursuits appear to be more legitimate. So, as I started my sophomore year of college, I made up my mind that my relationship with any girl that I became involved would only last three months at max. For the first month and a half of school I was successful in this, my involvement with girls actually never lasted past three weeks. At the time, I was proud of myself being able to jump to another girl as soon as I got bored with one girl. However, this all changed on October 2, 2019. I remember it like it was yesterday… I woke up and felt different. I felt like something big and life changing was going to happen, so I kept a watchful eye all day waiting to see what that big and life changing thing was going to be. The day was almost over and nothing happened yet. It was a Wednesday and I was on worship team for one of our youth services, so I had to be at church around 5pm which meant I had to eat an early dinner. I remember while I was eating dinner thinking, “Maybe God is going to speak a word to me during service. Maybe that’s the big, life changing thing that I’m sensing is going to happen.” Well, I can tell you that the big, life changing thing wasn’t a thing and it wasn’t a word from God, it was a person. As I walked into the youth auditorium, I caught a glimpse of a cute, blonde-hair girl, and my heart dropped and I felt butterflies in my stomach for one of the few times in my entire life. I immediately knew that she, Riley, was the life changing thing I sensed all day (I thought she was “the one”), but because of me being me, I wrote it off. Now, back to my question, “Is there truth to Maya Angelou’s quote?” My answer is, “No.” If this quote was true, when a global pandemic canceled my first date with Riley, love would have penetrated the walls of the pandemic and found a way to make the date happen. If this quote was true, love would have leaped the fences between us and made our relationship a reality, but it didn’t. As much as I respect and honor Maya Angelou, her quote does not tell the truth… at least not the whole truth. You see, the truth is that when a global pandemic canceled our first date, love wanted to penetrate the walls of the pandemic, but I didn’t let it. Love urged me to try doing a virtual date, but I wasn’t willing to because it just wasn’t how I visioned our first date. Love wanted to leap the fences of distance, but I didn’t let it. Love urged me to text Riley everyday to maintain some type of a relationship, but I didn’t because I was terrorized by the thought that I would get bored with her and cut her off like I would with a girl from Tinder. Love wanted to do everything it could to make our relationship happen, but I didn’t let it. So, again, I ask the question, “Is there truth to Maya Angelou’s quote? Does love recognize no barriers? Does love jump hurdles? Does love leap fences? Does love penetrate walls?” I say, “Yes, there’s truth to Maya Angelou’s quote. Yes, love doesn’t see barriers. Yes, love jumps hurdles. Yes, love leaps fences. Yes, love penetrates walls.” You see, during this entire situation, the quote was true, but I didn’t allow it to be true. So, I would like to re-write Maya Angelou’s quote… “Love begs us to see no barriers. It urges us to let it jump hurdles, leap fences, penetrate walls and allow it to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
I have one last question, “Does love really have a destination?” My answer is, “Yes.” Unfortunately, in my relationship with Riley, I caused the train to derail and I may never know what love’s destination was in our relationship. However, I do know that ultimately the final destination of my love for Riley was God. Before I go any further, I want to answer the question I left unanswered, “Does love actually exist?” My answer to this question is also, “Yes.” Scripture proves that love exists. “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16b, ESV) Through this piece of scripture, we see that the true source of love is not sensual pleasure. This is why I can say with full authority that since love has a destination, love exists and God is love, that the destination of my love for Riley was actually to point me back to the true source of love… God. This is why Riley was the big, life changing thing I was expecting back on October 2, 2019 because my pursuit to be better for her has led me into a deeper relationship with Jesus.
So, I want to end by saying that love exists. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” I have to admit that I’m still hoping for my relationship with Riley to take a turn for the better, maybe even marriage, but if nothing happens between us, that is okay because my pursuit to date Riley led me to a deeper relationship with God which has allowed not only love Riley more, but to love everyone more. And that was love’s true destination all along.”
With an astound look on his face, Judge Hawthorne says, “Thank you for you that unusually long, but heart wrenching opening statement, Mr. Williams. Defense, you may now present your opening statement.”
“Your Honor, we agree with what Mr. Williams has said, and no longer see a need to present our opening statement,” states the defense team.
“So, be it,” says Judge Hawthorne, “Mr. Williams, it seems to me that you have already made the decision for me. Unless the defense opposes, I’m ready to make my judgement.”
The defense team answers, “We do not, your Honor.”
Judge Hawthorne calls out in his authoritative, friendly voice, “Well, alright. In the case of Williams versus Love, I rule that Love is innocent and is not to be executed. All ideas of love and romance shall remain alive. Thanks everyone for your time. This court is dismissed.”
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Events and situations in my blog posts are based off of true events; however, Riley is an alias. This name is not the real name of the woman who it represents. In all of my writings, unless someone gives me permission to use their real name, I am quoting someone, or they are of close relation, people who I refer too are given a pseudonym. I do this to protect people’s privacy while being able to talk about events that happened in my life.