Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

All I Have to Give

“All of me, why not take all of me?
Can’t you see I’m no good without you?
Take my lips I wanna lose them
Take my arms I’ll never use them
Your goodbyes left me

with eyes that cry
How can I get along without you?
You took the part
that once was my heart
So why not take all of me?”
Michael Buble 

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I want to give you all of me.

Not the rest of me. Not me plus the pieces I gave to ten other girls. Not me plus the two or three girls that I slept with. Not me and the one girl I thought was the one, so I went ahead and cheated. Not me and the one moment of biological weakness, overcome by the heat of passion and raging chemistry.

Me. Just me. All of me, wholly and completely. All the skill and life and love and talent and memories and blessings I’ve been given, every lesson learned and every path traveled, every thought, every song, every letter. Since I can’t invest in you, or us, I’m investing in myself to make sure what you’re getting gets better every day.

I’ve tamed the beast of passion and subdued it for a time, the better to honor and cherish you upon your arrival.

And I don’t understand why the world despises me for it.

It’s almost as if the message is “don’t bother trying  to become better; the world will hate you and envy you for becoming better than them.” Don’t misunderstand, I don’t entertain thoughts of superiority. I’m a sinner, plain and simple. But I’m a sinner who, first of all is saved by grace, and second has decided to shoot for becoming a better person through prayer, through education, through study, through perseverance, through hard work. It’s like the athlete who added to his training a backpack full of rocks, and on the day of his race, he outperformed his jealous cohorts. Rather than rewarding hard work and effort, they cursed his ability and excused their lack, even though they could have done the same.

Can you imagine if you spent hours, days, years working to become something? Strong, funny, intelligent, resourceful, educated, equipped to provide, whichever…and someone says “not good enough!” and slaps your face? Few of us would be unmoved if we were to witness a child spending a week painstakingly drawing a picture for a beloved vacationing teacher, only to present it to her and have her tear it up because it wasn’t good enough.

That’s what it feels like. It’s difficult to see people reject me, or turn their nose up at my efforts, not just because they’re MY efforts but because they’re supposed to be for a woman seeking more than the average jerk. They represent something higher, something I don’t see very often. They represent a standard that I felt obligated to uphold because no one else does. I see men, countless men abdicating their God-given duties to be a husband, a father, a leader. I see them mistreating women, using them, abusing them, breaking their hearts. In response, I roll up my sleeves, set my jaw and determine to be the exact opposite — to get it right. To lead without dominating; to be courageous yet cautious, benevolent but not gullible; accommodating but not compromising; strong but not overbearing, gentle but firm, tender but not weak.

The joke’s on me, ha! Turns out women like the jerks they run with. They spurn the “good guys” in favor of the rush and thrill of a “bad boy” who domineers them (a false and distorted view of a man’s role to lead) and only after having their fun do they seek the man who isn’t corrupted.

Did you ever wonder why they call it “cheating”? It’s because man and woman were designed to be happy with one another, but only with one another, and only in the confines of marriage. To find that fulfillment any other place “cheats” the proper paths to the abundant pleasures God has created.

And they all cheat.

It’s almost despair enough to flush out those elusive tears of mine.

Oh Darling. I know it seems like I ask for much, but I can put up with so much in return…really I can. Do you have trust issues? Big deal. Were you abused as a child? Piece of cake. Former druggie? Nothing I can’t handle. Were you raped? Doesn’t make one bit of difference to me. Struggling with the weight? Hey, don’t we all. Crap like that I can fix — I can love you through it. I told you before…God gave me broad shoulders and thick armor for some of these struggles.

But I want all of you. I’m giving you all of me, can’t you do the same?

I’m all I have to give. I may not be much, but it’s the best I could possibly give.

It’s all I have.

April 9, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness, Purity | 2 Comments

Tough

“You’re out of luck 
And the reason that you had to care 
The traffic is stuck 
And you’re not moving anywhere 

You thought you’d found a friend 
To take you out of this place 
Someone you could lend a hand 
In return for grace…”
U2 

I have to let you in on a little secret. Men aren’t that tough.

Maybe you already knew that, or thought you did. Maybe your mother or a relative already told you a woman can handle three illnesses at once, while a few flu germs will lay a man up for a week. Not in my experience, but, ha ha, whatever. Me, I get sick maybe once a year, and not even laid-up-in-bed sick.

No, what I’m talking about is facing down the world. It hit me again today, another bad day, and I found myself longing for you again. I just need somebody on my side, who can look at me, and immediately know (and ask) what’s wrong, and not to give up until you’ve dragged it out of me.

The world troubles me. I’m probably carrying more than my share of it, but it’s heavy. People will ask me how I’m doing, but they don’t mean it. So I smile like we all do and tell them things are fine. By the way, I’m not going to break down and tell you what’s wrong the first time. You’re going to have to show me you can see something’s wrong and you want to know.

When it comes to lifting heavy loads, performing grueling manual labor, facing the odds and fighting danger, sure, we’re tough.

But when it comes to just the simple, stupid things of everyday life, things are different. I work with several police officers, and the toughest, biggest, strongest one of them admitted he was weeping while pumping iron when he thought of his unborn baby daughter.

We’re not as tough as we look sometimes.

There was a girl I thought profoundly worthy of further inspection and acquaintance…one of the first of whom I’ve thought so well. She immediately rejected my interest, explaining that she had some things in her past that made her put most people in the “friend zone.”

I don’t know why it hit me like it did. Rejection? I’ve felt that before. Frustration? Sure. Like She Who Never Called Back, it seems that any girl I view with some interest immediately views me with disinterest. Meanwhile, I’m assailed with uninteresting women who would love to have a piece of me but have nothing to give in return.

You know by now I’m joyfully anticipating every moment of our lives together. And we build up those hopes, don’t we. We start building a house without ever asking somebody if they’d like to live there. You think you’re close to hot meals, warm conversation, loving eyes and tight hugs; all the creature comforts that have eluded me for so long. To think you’re close to all that and then have someone slam the window on your hopeful face…well, it hurts.

They say you shouldn’t idolize marriage. It’s not going to solve every problem, it’s an imperfect arrangement between two sinners. But look, I deal with sinners all the time, myself included. I can put up with a lot. Somehow, I just don’t see the curses that come with marriage possibly outweighing the benefits…just as I don’t see the blessings of solitude outweighing its universal curse.

And who are they to tell me not to idolize marriage, that institution that the world drones endlessly on about in song and verse, music and poetry, movies and novels, stories and conversations and anything and everything in between. You can’t rave about the honey and then warn the starved souls about the stomach ache. You probably shouldn’t have been raving about the honey to begin with.

Anyway darling, I consider myself pretty tough. That’s not to say I won’t break down when I think of our children or you, but I think once we’ve got each other to lean on, there’s no reason why we can’t both be tough together…even through the tears.

April 9, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness | Leave a comment