Çalikusu is Turkish for Lovebird. It is the title of a famous novel written in 1922 by Resat Nuri Güntekin. It is perhaps one of the most poetic and heartfelt stories that has ever been written. The tale begins at the turn of the century, early 1900’s in Turkey, as the old guard of the Ottoman Empire gives way to the new republic. A young orphaned girl, with unusual vivacity and intellect, makes waves and overturns Muslim social norms by becoming a teacher and falling in love with her cousin, Kamran. Ultimately, a love story that will make your head spin like a dreidel. It was adapted into a TV mini-series in 2014 starring Fahriye Evcen as Feride and Burak Ozcivit at Kamuran.
The filming is truly a work of art. Woven into the fabric of the storyline is poetic dialog and musical vignettes that drip with romantic overtones. For English audiences it can be best described as the Turkish version of Shakespeare in Love. A birdseye view into Muslim culture and tradition that only foreign viewers can appreciate. This is a love story that is universal. It crosses borders and boundaries, cultural differences and social norms. Calikusu is a Turkish delight, which will transport you into another time and world, where true love is threatened on every side.
Almost every love story has it’s trials; someone or something is always trying to prevent or destroy the relationship: think Cinderella and the evil step sisters; the family feud in Romeo and Juliet; the war of the classes in Pride and Prejudice. It often seems that true love must overcome many obstacles in order to survive. It’s as if the world is pulling away at the threads of love, trying desperately to unravel it. I have often felt that way in my Christian walk with the Lord Jesus. Our love for the Lord is also a love affair of the heart; His is our Groom and we are his bride.
But how often have I felt the pull of Satan to try and pit me against Him? To pull me away from my Lord and Savior. When trial upon trial come, when dark clouds seem to hover over me day after day, when persecution and rejection begin to eat away at my understanding, the enemy is right there to whisper lies into my ear. He tries to unravel love – one thread at a time. Just like in any love story the hero/heroine must overcome. Good must overcome evil. Truth must prevail over fear. Love must conquer hate. But where do we find the courage to forgive, the strength to endure and the power to rise above our circumstances? The answer is: in Christ Jesus.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13).
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever,” (Psalm 73:26). So we put on our armor and stand firm in the promises of God, casting our cares on The Lord.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight,” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
So no matter how bad the storm gets or how dark your circumstances may seem, when we submit to His plan, trusting and obeying, we can know that He will make our paths straight; no matter how many times we might have messed things up. Learn to listen to God – then trust and obey. He is faithful. He is God. He is love. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8:28).
Have you received the free gift of salvation? Because mankind sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, death came into the world. This broke fellowship with our creator and God who cannot stand before sin. “…..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). God is Holy. In order to get us back into relationship with Himself, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for your sin debt. He died and three days later rose from the dead. He is seated at the right Hand of God. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Ask Jesus to come into your heart today. Confess Him as your Lord and Savior. “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him,” (Isaiah 30:18).
By far, the greatest love story of all, is God’s redemptive plan for you and I: To spend our days on Earth, and in eternity, in His loving Presence.