A meet-cute is saccharine plot device that sets up a meeting of the romantic leads in your typical Hollywood film. Not that I would know, but I suspect Bollywood and Nollywood have the same neat tricks, perhaps because it appeals to our romantic notions.


It would be a very brave film-maker who went through with making a movie based on a true story: like Lale Sokolov’s. Lale Sokolov was a prisoner and tattooist in Auschwitz concentration camp, whose job it was to tattoo the prisoner number on the arms of incoming captives.


It so happened that he met a young lady whose name was Gita and the two soon fell in love. In the midst of trying to survive from day to day in a concentration camp. A romantic treatment of this story would be about as awkward as the fictional musical ‘Spring time for Hitler’ in the 2005 movie, ‘The Producers’:


Romanticism is for the movies. Real life is seldom filled with such serendipity, coincidences and background music when two people meet. Or indeed when anything of consequence happens.

Pure schmaltz

Recently I heard a new song by Steven Curtis Chapman called ‘Remember to remember’:


Looking back at what God has done, and where he has brought a person should be devoid of romanticism and silly notions of perfection. Mountain tops and valleys, successes and failures. Reality and Grace like a combination of concrete and rebar in a construction that is durable, a bridge or building that can be used for as long as we live, standing in testament to how He has been a part of our lives and how our lives are a part of His kingdom and rule.


It’s good to remember the encounters that we have with God, each one memorable and profound and particular to whatever situation we find ourselves in.


11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”” (Psalm 77, NIV).


I remember the circumstances of meeting my future wife. It was no meet-cute. I remember the circumstances of meeting God (ironically in a re-purposed movie theatre), and I remember the times of meeting in good times and bad.


No Hollywood. No cheesy lines, no schmaltzy endings, as real as pavement. And I’m still here because He has sustained me, and that’s what I hear when a maestro like Steven Curtis Chapman who pours his heartache and triumphs into a song like this. As much as life has put the lines on his face, it also produces art that we can hear with our ears, art that reminds us to remember.

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