We often wonder why Simone, in Mrs. Davis chose to become a nun. It is one thing to be devoted to God, another to wish to serve him for a lifetime, but a completely different thing to call yourself his wife. In Indian history, there was a poet by the name of Meera, better known as Mirabai, who believed that she was in love with Krishna, a Hindu god. She was born into a royal family, but her devotion to Krishna meant that right from her childhood, she believed that she was married to him. Meera went on to marry a king later in life due to her family’s demands, but in her heart, it was always Krishna. There is a story that goes that when Meera was given poison one time in an attempt to kill her, she drank it despite knowing what it was. She trusted that Krishna would take care of her and do what was best. Of course, Meera survived. Simone, drinking from the grail for the love of Jesus to set him free from the world, reminded us of that. It is their love for a God that ends up defining their existence, except that this is a love that these women have chosen and are fulfilling without any conditions.
We do not claim to understand the nature of unconditional love because we believe that conditions are an integral part of that emotion. There is the condition of respect, understanding, a willingness to work together, and for those who care, the condition of chemistry. But as we write this, we realize that Simone did receive these from Jesus. Let us circle back to her childhood in the series Mrs. Davis for a second. We want to say that she had loving parents, but she was often pushed into the background when their careers took center stage. Her father, Monty, was obsessed with his showmanship and was a credit hog. He wanted the entire act to be his own, even though he could only ever take care of the visuals. It was his wife, Celeste, who handled the engineering aspect of things, which was the actual backbone of his career. Monty was dependent on Celeste but resented having to give her credit. Celeste, on the other hand, did not like being pushed into the background. But she loved him and accepted this role as a necessary evil for being with him. However, we are never able to gauge whether Monty loved Celeste. He was charming and had no dearth of good things to say to her, but they were all hollow, driven with the purpose of keeping her around for his own career.
Monty used to dote on his daughter. He was always nice to her, which was in contrast to how Celeste behaved with her. But Elizabeth had a job to fulfill. She was the girl who would do the prompts at his shows, and if we see this from a child’s psyche, her actions must have been centered around making her parents happy and proud of her. We believe she got the approval she was looking for. But one particular incident taught her the very conditional nature of the love around her. Her father manipulated her to go into her mother’s room to find out what her new invention was. It would have been well and good if Simone had just been able to do her job. We are not saying that Celeste’s need for secrecy was wrong, but why go to such lengths to hide the invention from the very person it was being designed for? The fact that Simone was hit by the arrow was a mistake, but wasn’t it intended for Monty, whom Celeste believed would be the one to try and break into her room? Despite her love for the man, she was ready to kill him. Her resentment for Monty equaled her love for him, if not more than that.
Simone must have understood that though not in so many words, but the impression must have been there even at that young age. Simone couldn’t trust Monty’s love anymore, knowing the manipulation it contained, and Celeste had never been one to show affection, no matter what she felt. Parents give us our first blueprint for love, and that becomes our basis for deciding how we feel about every other relationship for the rest of our lives. Simone’s blueprint was that of conditions. These two people stayed together for mutual benefit without ever learning to properly love or cherish themselves and, by extension, their significant other. Simone found love with Wiley, and by all means, they cared deeply for each other. There was love, respect, and understanding, but then Jesus came into her life.
Our theory is that Jesus was a man, but he was the son of God. He cared about everyone, and it was not a prerequisite that they care about him in return. Jesus loved people, wanted to serve them, would correct them for their mistakes without shooting an arrow through their liver, and did everything without expecting anything in return, not because it was his duty but because it gave him genuine joy in return. When Simone realized that, love came very easily to her. Of course, she knew that she was not the only recipient of his love, but Simone did not mind because, in her eyes, unconditional love cannot be restricted to just one person. She gets miffed at one point in Episode 4 of Mrs. Davis when she believes that she is being treated as his errand girl, but Simone gets over it. After all, God always functions with a bigger purpose than mere mortals can imagine.
Simone often struggles with her feelings for Wiley since she believes that she would betray Jesus if she acted on them. She fails to apply the same logic to herself that she applies to Jesus: that love can manifest in many ways. Please don’t think that we are advocating for cheating, but there is a difference between love for divinity and love for a human. Jesus understands this and encourages Simone to follow her heart, which she learns to do by the end of the series. Simone had had quite an interesting journey, but throughout it all, she was just a girl looking for love, without any strings attached.