I’ve shared previously my love for the movie, “The Holiday.” Since we are experiencing, “Christmas in July,” I had the perfect reason to watch it…again. There is one scene whereby two characters are discussing a meet cute. This is the concept of two characters meeting one another followed by magic often with a sprinkling of tragedy happening as the relationship evolves. A few of my favorites, Nina meeting Darius in the record store in Love Jones, and how about C.C. Bloom meeting Hillary in Beaches; and I can’t forget, Celie meeting Shug Avery in the Color Purple. I began to consider how many meet cutes we have with God over our existence. To be sure, while the character of God remains, we on the other hand as humanity are inextricably impacted by our environment, our experiences, our loves and losses, each of which collectively force us to reckon with God via a meet cute over and over again. Thank God for such! I would suggest that a few other supporting cast members that enable our endless meet cutes are forgiveness, grace, joy, mercy, anger, despair, hope, fear, salvation, repentance and faith. Each manifest in our work, ministry, in relationship with others, graduations, funerals, weddings, divorces and birth. For each encounter with these labels, we find out yet again just how much God really loves us and cares about what happens in our storylines.
As God builds our faith, he sends forth interruption; and while He may be excited about our next meet cute, we may avoid it like a telemarketer. Just like they often get around the blockage, so will God. Don’t care to meet Him while your favorite OWN show is on (anybody else hooked like me?), rest assured He will meet you at 3am when you are embracing that good slumber. He will invite you in to spend time, allowing you to get to know Him all over again as in a first date. Have you ever felt lonely and out of nowhere received a phone call or a letter from someone dear to you? That’s a meet cute with God. A tangible expression of your importance to Him. We meet cute with God when overwhelmed at work and someone, perhaps even a manager that you side eye, tells you what a great job you’ve been doing. Meet cutes are heralded on Sunday mornings, and Bible studies, and dance ministry rehearsals when God shows up in our worship and envelops us like only He can, removing our focus on our issues and redirecting everything that concerns us directly to Him. In those moments, we are reassured of His divine ability to do all but fail. And I most adore interacting with God in a meet cute of wonderment as we interact with a child who holds deep hope and dreams in their hearts and hand, like cotton candy, urging us to believe in the same God that we’ve professed to them. Perhaps the most challenging meet cutes are those when we are at our lowest and feel we have no options that resemble overcoming, when we are devastated to our core, results in the most authentic meet cute we are afforded. Luke 19:10 reads, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” As a dear Sister in Christ reminded me recently, “know that the days you can hardly make it, He is indeed carrying you.” Meet cutes with God are constant reminders that we are not alone, that we are loved, that we are strong and that we will not only survive, but thrive and flourish as we maintain regular interaction with Him.
Saul’s meet cute on the road to Damascus was heart wrenching but the conversion was heart changing, not only for Him, but for everyone who came to know Christ through his conviction, to this very hour. Meet cutes are not planned by us, but they most certainly are orchestrated by God. When we watch a movie, we consider it recommendable if it takes us through a flurry of emotions, twists and turns to come to a point of reckoning. Our lives are not necessarily different. As opposed to resisting God’s wisdom to allow meet cutes, or more specifically, the meet cutes that are troubling, we might instead embrace them as assurances that God is taking us higher and deepening our relationship with Him. In the final scene, He wants to ensure that He gets all the glory, and not we ourselves. If you’re overdue for a meet cute with God, no worries, you can have one immediately. Psalm 145:18 affirms, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Meet cutes drive the plot of a movie, but meet cutes with God drive the plight of our destiny. And not only our destiny, but impactful to the destiny of others. When we meet someone unexpectedly we never know the prayer we may be answering, that in fact our “chance encounter” may be what they need most, and it is God’s loving way of reminding and solidifying His undeniable concern for their life. He never changes, and there remains parts of Him that we profess to desire, but then complain when the opportunity meets us in complexity or challenge or change. That doesn’t feel cute at all! Yet Philippians 3:10 reads, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.” This scripture plays on repeat as we navigate life, and although circumstances evolve and people change, including we ourselves, God changes not! Meet Him again today in a song, a sermon, nature, and humanity and fall in love all over again, happily ever after.