A Love I Could Not Deserve

I am Katniss Everdeen. Selfish. Self-absorbed. Manipulative. Prideful. Faithless. And completely underserving of a love like Peeta Mellark.

Yes, I am writing about The Hunger Games again, specifically, Mockingjay. I had to.

I was so utterly disgusted and fed up with Miss Everdeen in this third installment. Whatever pitiable quality she possessed died on those 398 pages and the movie did little to help revive them. I loathed the way she used loved as a tool… A weapon to get what she wanted. The way she flitted back and forth between “friends”, but never without her own self-gratifying motives at the forefront of her every actions. The way she woefully (and endlessly) mourned her own pain while callously wounding others. The way she repeatedly cast before swine the pearls of love she received from Peeta… was the most sickening and frustrating thing of all because…

Because I am Katniss Everdeen. Foolishly self-reliant. Blindly disobedient. Emotionally ignorant. Disastrously arrogant. I cannot accept a love given so completely, it shames all the strings attached to mine. I cannot abide a love so pure, it reveals all the ugly filth of mine. And when confronted with a love offered so freely, I am angry for a debt that cannot be paid with mine.

I have spent the last few weeks ruminating on Miss Everdeen, trying to figure out what it was that irked me so sorely. Clearly she does not deserve Peeta! She does not appreciate him the way I would if his character didn’t only exist in books to torment me! And that’s when I realized, I am her and she is me. I am at the mercy of the love of Christ. Pure, complete, free. A love I could not deserve, a love that holds me to a mirror and reveals to me all the reasons why. Yet, rather than gratefully accepting, I mindlessly deny. I cast aside this priceless gift in hopes of attaining something I can afford. I cast before swine His rare pearl for something I “deserve”.

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A Love That Sets a Heart on Fire

I never thought I would write this. I always imagined my blog – though a blog about everything and nothing in particular – was a blog of… substance… maturity dabbled with quirky humor. A blog intelligent people could enjoy. But seeing as it is my blog about “life in no particular order”, it is my prerogative to blog about what’s going on in my life. And at the present, my heart beats with love stronger than ever before. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have a crush on Peeta Mellark.

While women were swooning over Gale Hawthorne, pining for his first kiss with Katniss Everdeen, I was nail biting at the edge of my seat secretly pleading for Peeta to be the victor. While they were rolling their eyes and sighing in exasperation at his puppy dog eyes, I was huddled with my stomach in knots over his wounded heart. And that first kiss with the handsome Mr. Hawthorne was an agonizing knife I had to suffer quietly while others rejoiced.

Now before you all start sending me hate mail, please understand that I like Gale. I would never denounce his rugged good looks. He clearly cares for Katniss, they have a number of things in common, and they are good friends. He’s a provider and a fighter. I have nothing against him.

I also have nothing against Katniss. She is caught between two worlds – loving Gale but having to be with Peeta. And to complicate the issue, she is slowly realizing that people are more complex than she previously assumed and that loving one does not equal hating the other.

But for me, while Katniss is the action heroine of the film, Petta is the embodiment of heroic and sacrificial love. From the first installment, every move, every alliance, every promise made or broken was done in an effort to protect Katniss – often at the expense of himself. He is not a good fighter. He does not know squat about hunting and seems like a lost lamb in the woods. In fact he is often wounded and usually at the point of death. But what skills he does have; (interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence to start with) he uses to promote or protect her.

In The Hunger Games, while she made it clear she disliked him, while she was only worried about staying alive, he formed an alliance with the enemies in order to distract them from her trail. He had no way of benefiting from that and only got wounded and left for dead. In Catching Fire, we find that he is the one caring for Hamish. Knowing she does not love him, he is willing to play out his part in order to protect her family. And even more so, he volunteers, having been through that hell and knowing his chances of survival are slim so that he can increase her chances of surviving. Again, at absolutely no benefit to himself. How can you possibly fault me for wanting a love like that… A love that sets a heart on fire?

**If you have not seen part two yet, I will try not to completely spoil it for you.**

There is a scene in the movie where Katniss finally comes face to face with the reality of how devastating it would be for her to lose Peeta. Much like the rest of the movie, the scene focuses on Katniss’ emotions without giving much attention to how much more love must have been pumping through Peeta’s heart all this time. While watching the scene, President Snow’s young granddaughter comments, “someday I want to love a boy that much”. My simple reply to her is, “me too”.