Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Sundry Thoughts for a New Year

Dear Darling,

Happy New Year. For someone who loves the old and traditional, somehow the phrase seems trite to me. Oh, it’s not that I’m unhappy. I’m just in that pensive and somber mood I get in from time to time, conditioned by loneliness.

I didn’t have enough time to enjoy the holidays. Or if I did, I didn’t take it. It didn’t count. About the time I was able to relax enough to feel the magic in the air, I was smelling the wake of Christmas as it disappeared over the hill. I didn’t have enough time to reflect fondly and thoughtfully over the past year and settle into the seat and welcome the new year with arms wide open. My family traveled a short distance to spend an hour or two with my estranged older brother — the one who abandoned my family years ago and has been hostile and absent ever since. The encounter went strangely well, but I had to be back home for an early day at work. Thus I barely saw the new year arrive before I had to retire for the night.

The next day was spent in nothing short of paid, vigilant idleness. (I do so hate inaction!)

Interestingly enough, the evening was capped off with a date I arranged with a certain young lady who I thought was out of the picture but returned. The reasons for her departure were not what I thought, and upon a chance encounter I suggested we meet. It was a true date, Darling, and while we both agreed there was no call for a second, it put me in the mind of how fun it would be to arrange dates for you and I. She and I…we just weren’t on the same page. It’s disappointing, but no venture fails which gives you direction…whether it be which path to take, or which path not to take.

I question myself in this whole scheme of dating and courtship. I can hardly stand accused of treating dating flippantly, but there seems a balance I cannot find. Some say relax, turn it over to the Lord, and don’t try to take your fate in your own hands. It will come when you’re not looking. Others say God gives man a choice and a will and He expects us to use them. When I relax and am not active, as I was for years and years, nothing happens. When I am actively seeking, choices seem to pour in and I am overwhelmed to evaluate, and none of them seem like you. That’s my problem, I guess. I think too much about the rest of forever. I don’t ask if a girl is merely pleasant or cheerful to be around. Internally, I’m asking if she’s you. I don’t ponder if she’ll be fun for a few more dates…I ponder if she’ll die beside me in sixty years. In the purest possible way, I’m trying on every woman I meet or go out with to see if she’s you…to see if she could be you. Now many would say that I am placing too high a standard on her, but really I’m not that strict. There are many hopes I have for you, but not so many of them are dealbreakers.

Thus, I don’t know if I am being too human in taking my fate into my own hands, or showing proper kingdom initiative in searching for God’s best. And once again, I’d really rather He just point you out to me and let me pursue you. The uncertainty of being right, and the gravity of getting it wrong, are both difficult anchors to weigh while going out “just to have fun.” The funny thing is, when it comes to conversation, most people tell you to stay away from the “big three” topics: sex, politics and religion. I very naturally find myself discussing all three. They are fundamental and important.

School will be starting back soon, and I’ve barely de-stressed from the last semester. Coupled with that, there are duties in my other life that lend a sense of urgency for action. It would become a full-time pursuit if I was not careful, and I am grateful that God reminded me I’m not accountable to work in that field alone. It is one in which I can do much good and from which I can even profit, but it is not my ultimate destiny.

Meanwhile, as if all these luxuries were not opulent enough, I also fell sick once again, a good fierce flu bug. Reminded me of who you might be when I’m sick.

I’ve had occasion to be told again how much my work means to some. It pleases me to know that. I was put here to minister and persuade, to coach and coax and fight for the truth. But sometimes, gratitude isn’t enough. I still need the one person who won’t say thank you and then leave. Sometimes I just need someone — someone wearing my ring — to slide their hand up my arm and say “hey, c’mere big guy.” And I’ll say “why, what is it?” and you’ll say “just come here. Sit down. Breathe. Relax. You’re working too hard. Your forehead’s all scrunched up. Just sit.” And I’ll protest that I have too much to do and you’ll say “just SIT.” Your voice is firm but gentle and loving.

Because I don’t. I don’t take enough time out for me. The world keeps on spinning and I keep on chasing it, trying to keep a dozen flames of hope alive, trying to kindle new fires and beat back old enemies, while studying and working. I don’t let myself relax like I ought.

But for you, for the person who cares enough about me to arrest me from my perpetual motion, I’ll sit. I can’t even imagine what a back rub would feel like right now. Arms wrapped lovingly around my neck, hands rubbing my hair. I can’t even imagine what it would be like for someone to care enough to give me those things, to look out for my needs even as I look after hers. But the thought fills me with a heartfelt longing, and enough motivation to keep searching for you, however long it takes.

I won’t give up on you. Don’t you give up on me.

Love always,

January 6, 2013 Posted by | Holidays, Loneliness | 1 Comment