The Poignant Truth  

Posted by Brock Booher

Years ago while living in South America, I became a fan of a Spanish singer, Jose Luis Perales. His song, “Cómo Es El”, was one of my favorites. The song is poetic, as most of his songs are, and speaks of stolen love as the couple separates. Cómo es el literally means ‘how is he’ or more clearly translated, ‘what is he like?’ The forsaken lover painfully and pointedly questions the departing woman about the nature of the conquering rival, and where exactly did he fall in love with her. I always considered it a poignant and moving song. And then the other day I found out the real meaning behind the song, and it deepened my understanding of the song making the poignancy downright visceral.

I found out that the ‘forsaken lover’ was a father questioning his daughter as she announced her betrothal. With the new information in mind, I played the song again. Since I now have three daughters, an entirely new wave of emotion overcame me as the old lyrics played, and I must admit that I cried. It was, as they say, a significant paradigm shift.

How often does new information completely change our outlook, our feelings, or our understanding of something? Perhaps it doesn’t happen enough.

We often trudge along in life from one event to another without opening our eyes, ears, and minds to other possibilities. We entrench ourselves in our mindset and fight off any new information as if it were an invading army hell-bent on destroying our way of thinking. In the end, like the trench, our thinking becomes narrow, monotonous, and goes nowhere productive.

If, however, we build our house of thought on the rock of truth, then we can gladly welcome in any new idea or thought into the walls of our home for examination without fearing the outcome. If it is truth, we gladly give it space and welcome it as we would a new member of our family. If it is not truth, then we can confidently and cordially show it to the door. Because the foundation is strong, the house can withstand any paradigm shifts.

Truth needs no defense. We need not hedge it or protect it. We need simply learn it, proclaim it, and ally ourselves to it.

My paradigm shift deepened my admiration for a beautiful song, but now when I hear the words, my emotions will be different than before. The song is still poetic and poignant, but the truth about its meaning made me feel its emotional message more deeply than before – perhaps because I now have three daughters that are growing up too fast.

True Love  

Posted by Brock Booher

I recently wrote a small segment about love as part of a writing exercise that I wanted to share. BTW, don't forget about Valentines Day!

Why Should I Let You Live?

“Why should I let you live?” said my captor. His accented delivery was smooth and even, but his voice had the quality of wrinkled sandpaper.

I paused. I could smell my own breath as it tried to escape from the coarse bag over my head. The mind is a funny thing, especially under panic. One thought dominated my mind – a line from a movie.

“True Love,” I said simply and clearly.

Silence dominated. No motion. No breathing. Awkward silence. The seconds sped away until the grit from his voice scraped away the silence. “Tell me about her and why you love her.”

In the darkness, I closed my eyes that I might see more clearly the images of her. I took a deep breath and began.

“I began to love her many years ago. Her unabashed smile and unmistakable zest for life attracted me from the first moment I laid eyes on her. She was laughing and talking with a buddy of mine and her bushy blonde hair gleamed in the sun. She smiled with gusto, not some half-hearted reserved smile. It was the kind of smile that starts somewhere deep in the heart and bursts across the face like the sunrise. Her blue eyes sparkled and her laugh was contagious. We dated and everything felt so natural – no jealously, no drama, no weirdness. We became inseparable friends. It was a warm spring afternoon in the mountain canyon when I first knew that I was in love with her. As we drove down the winding canyon road she suddenly made me stop the car so that she could pet some cows in a field beside the road. I laughed! But as I watched her in the afternoon sun gently coaxing the cows to the fence with her delightful voice, my affection for her bubbled up inside of me making me tingle inside. I knew I was in love with her.”

“You speak only of young love or, how do you say, infatuation. That is not true love,” said the captor skeptically.

I continued.

“We were married a few months later in the summer. The hot summer nights were filled with passion and yearning desire. We drank deeply from the sumptuous waters of sexual intimacy. We discovered the previously uncharted country of giving each other guiltless sensual pleasure as a husband and wife that had become as one flesh. Nights filled with sweet sweat, wet lips, skin to skin, and synchronized scintillating motion. Our love…”

“Now you speak only of sexual desire!” interrupted the voice. “Surely you are not trying to convince me that such emotions are true love!”

I continued, increasing the pace of my words. “The romantic passion gave way to the ebb and flow of two lives combined in the fight to win at the daily grind. We locked arms and focused our efforts on common goals and worthy horizons. We started a family – one…two…three…four children. Each time she stared death in the face and endured great pain to bring our children into this world. Her life became an endless battle against dirty diapers, snotty noses, and cluttered carpets. My life became a balancing act of earning a living and raising children. We adopted two more needy children and brought them into our circle of love. Our family…”

I could almost hear my captor shake his head and roll his eyes as he interrupted again. “Now you bore me with details of family life! Do you expect me to believe that true love comes from raising children?! Bah!”

I continued, even faster than before. “We set off in new directions as our children grew. We encouraged each other and took up new hobbies together. We…”

“Drivel! Love is not learning new things together!”

I continued at a panicked pace. “We grew old together and learned to support each other through sickness and injury. We cared for each others needs by…”

“Enough! Any nurse can do that! Since when is that TRUE LOVE?”

I stopped and sobbed softly to myself not knowing what to say.

After a long pause, I felt the captor’s mouth close beside me. His scratchy voice raked softly across my ear. “I have your wife in the next room. One of you must die. Will you die for her?”

“YES!” I shouted without hesitation.

I heard the legs of the chair squeak roughly against the floor as my captor stood. “THAT is true love!” he said.

I heard the hinges moan as the door opened. I heard the sound of metal against metal as the door swung firmly shut. I prayed for the safe release of my dear wife, and I waited happily to die.


Happy Valentines Day! May you find TRUE LOVE!