JAN / FEB 2013: BY VERONICA LEIGH
“My grandmother used to say, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans,’ ’” says Jose, in the opening scene of the movie Bella.
What is love? For some it is romance and finding the one person you are meant to be with for the rest of your life. For others it is unconditional love, a love that transcends romance. This is what the Bible calls agape love. This is the case in the book and movie, Bella, where true love goes beyond romance.
Nina is late for work, which makes this her third strike against her. Her boss is unsympathetic to her pleas for another chance. He fires her on the spot and sends her on her way. His brother Jose observes the exchange and is immediately curious about her recent tardiness. As she walks off, Nina drops a small stuffed bear on the sidewalk. Jose picks it up and follows her to the subway to discover the truth. She confides to him that she has learned something about herself and is forced to make a decision. Rather than go their separate ways, Jose and Nina embark on a day’s journey that alters the course of their lives forever.
They go from the park to a street market, then to a restaurant where Jose arranges a new prospective job for Nina with the owner. Nina begins to trust Jose and opens up to him about her troubles. Rather than judge her, he gives a listening ear. It occurs to him to invite her to his parents’ home on the beach.
For the first time, Nina is exposed to a loving family. Her own family, though once loving, is now broken. Jose reveals to Nina that he has a past. At one time he was on the top of the world but a tragedy destroyed his dreams. Now he works in the kitchen of his brother’s restaurant, hiding away from life. They are two wounded souls who come together. The writer and director of the film said that in their brokenness they fall in love, but rather than pursue romance, they keep their relationship platonic.
Jose decides to help Nina with her situation, which in turn redeems him of his past regression. They come to find that God’s plans are sovereign to their own and that true love comes solely from Him. ■
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Veronica Leigh is an aspiring novelist, who lives in Indiana with her family and six furbabies. Her obsessions range from Jane Austen to the Holocaust to the TV show Once Upon a Time. She has published two short autobiographical pieces and hopes to see more in print. She also lurks on her blog.