Help My Unbelief

Rutledge, Fleming

Eerdmans, 2000

pp. 87 - 88

Rutledge recounts a significant interview of the great French film star Jeanne Moreau by Mike Wallace in which she completely locked Wallace up into inarticulate bafflement. Wallace tried to get Moreau to bite on his conspiratorial statement, “There’s a feeling in America that passion in a woman of a certain age is unseemly.” Long pause. Then Moreau said, “They’re right.” Wallace was dumbfounded: a French woman, veteran actress in R-rated films, downplays passion? “’Oh, come on,’ said Moreau. ‘Passion! When you get to sixty, you know about love. Love is not passion.’ ‘But there’s nothing wrong with passion,’ Wallace protested, his face a picture of disappointment. . . Moreau replied, ‘I would hate—I would hate to still be overcome with passion.’ As though she were a wise grandmother talking to an adolescent boy, Moreau explained, ‘I have passion for life, but I know about love. Love and passion don’t go together. Passion is destructive. Passion is demanding. Passion is jealous. Passion goes up and down. Love is constant.’” As Wallace tried to recover, Moreau added, “‘Compassion. That’s what love is about. You give even more than you receive.’” It was as if Wallace was talking from a secular, sensualist perch, and Moreau from 1 Corinthians 13. He was talking about eros. She was talking about agape. And her preference for agape made Wallace gasp and stammer.