What is it about Downton Abbey that has you, me, millions of others (including my moderately romantic husband) glued to the television on Sunday nights? I doubt it’s the high fashion or the high ceilings, it’s not the gallantry or the dream of high living. Nope. It’s the innate, indelible, insatiable, undeniable high drama and L.O.V.E.
The story and the glory of love.
I started vying for love as a third grader when I jumped off Robin McAlpine’s balcony with high hopes that David Wilmoth would ride up on his two wheeled bicycle and rush to my aid. Instead, I broke my wrist. The next year I begged the same David to play house with me on the playground. I pestered him to the point where his only recourse was to punch me in the gut. I honestly believe I had it coming.
I wonder where David Wilmoth is today?
Anyway, how is it possible that a 9 or 10 year old girl could be so desperate for love? The years that followed 2nd and 3rd grade weren’t much better for me. My fragile little heart was broken again and again. I admit, I shattered the hearts of plenty of well-meaning boys along the way to real love. As I got older the stakes got higher because there was more to give away and a heck of a lot more pain.I guess that’s part of what draws me into the make-believe-based-on-OUR-real-lives, but oh so the well-acted, pain in the eyes of the various characters we follow on Downton Abbey. From the kitchen to the drawing room there’s someone we can all relate to. The drama pulls us in, the ebb and the flow keeps us attentive, the cheating, mistreating, and grandma-ma’s perfectly-timed and scandalous remarks that keep us coming back for more.
Today I’ve been reading and pondering and praying, considering a love story that’s truly epic in proportion. He’s a perfect Lover in pursuit of His beloved who is willing to sacrifice everything, willing to pay the debt for the greatest offense, willing to love the most unlovable – whether footman or countryman, cook or lord, maid or lady, rich or poor. He is relentless, faithful, patient, kind, good, strong, powerful, sovereign, real, true, Savior and King, lover of our souls.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
“This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God” (I John 4:8-10).