Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

In The Night

In The Night
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Sometimes at night, when I sit and write,
I hear the strangest things,–
As my brain grows hot with a burning thought,
That struggles for form and wings,
I can hear the beat of my swift blood’s feet,
As it speeds with a rush and a whir
From heart to brain and back again,
Like a racehorse under the spur.
With my soul’s fine ear I listen and hear
The tender silence speak,
As it leans on the breast of Night to rest
And presses his dusky cheek.
And the darkness turns in its sleep, and yearns
For something that is kin;
And I hear the hiss of a scorching kiss,
As it folds and fondles Sin.
In its hurrying race through leagues of space,
I can hear the Earth catch breath,
As it heaves and moans, and shudders and groans,
And longs for the rest of Death.
And high and far, from a distant star,
Whose name is unknown to me,
I hear a voice that says, Rejoice,
For I keep ward o’er thee!
Oh, sweet and strange are the sounds that range
Through the chambers of the night;
And the watcher who waits by the dim, dark gates,
May hear if he lists aright.”

 

October 29, 2013 Posted by | Poems | , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll Find You

31. Alciati, Antonio Ambrogio -  Il Convegno, 1918

Dear Darling,

Nothing fills me with more sadness than to know I am not by your side, nor can enjoy your company as anything more than a gleam of desire; nothing fills me with greater hope than to know our time of fulfillment is yet to come. These days, our days, are fleeting and precious, and we each feel each other’s absence.

There are times where it seems all the doors are closed and the Lord is silent even to your requests for guidance. Then there are times when all the doors blow open at once, yet still you are uncertain which to pass through.

But Time and Time’s Master have bidden me wait for you, sight unseen. And so wait I must, here at this chamber where all doors seem closed, wisdom is short and counsel scarce. But on your behalf, I wait. On your behalf, I make every effort to learn and earn and become a better version of your future groom.

And on your behalf, I want you to know now, there is no barrier of time or space I won’t hazard, no bond of distance I won’t traverse, no gatekeeper I won’t challenge, no boundary of human design that I will not confront to find my way to your side. Our meeting is inevitable; I will find you.

Reach out again across the night sky, my love. Send your kisses heavenward and have them forwarded, and know that somewhere, your pensive warrior awaits the word to burst forth and set about breaking the spell that keeps us apart.

Love,
Beren

October 28, 2013 Posted by | Loneliness, Nights Like These, Promises | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sundry Thoughts for October, Part IV

Dear Darling,

How was your day? What did you eat, who did you talk to, where did you go? My day was the same as the rest of my life — an unfinished song. I wanted to write several things, and as they all wished to be written at once, none of them were. I have to be up for a video shoot tomorrow early, but I must write to you again before sleeping.

1) It snowed today. I can’t recall an October that gifted us with snow so early. It was just the right kind of weather for afternoon cuddling, dreary and plodding, cold and blustery. I had on my favorite, slightly-oversized fleece pullover, and I cleaned up the car and room, wrote a little, shopped for medical stock, went to the bank, gas station and store, and wrote a letter. It was a laid-back day, honestly.

2) I’m sorry I can’t come sooner. No one should be more convinced my desire is to find you as quick as may be, but I follow the orders of my King, and He has deemed it is not the due time. But I know inwardly you must be lonely and suffering to bear up under these days of solitude, with no one to share your secrets or sadness. Take some solace in the fact that I am poised at the starting gate, and it is only my Savior who stands waiting to give the signal. Join me in asking Him that the time will come, that He will release me to come and find you.

3) Where do you spend your spare time? At home? In a coffee shop somewhere? Out with friends? If I knew where you tended to hang out, even in general, doubtless I would pay call and loiter about those places. But where does a servant of Christ spend his time that would allow him to meet suitable maidens? Where might you pass your leisure that I could loiter about and seek after your face?

4) I ran an obstacle race recently. There was mud, ice, rock, sweat and electricity — eleven miles of it. It was one of the hardest things I’ve made myself endure, and it was so miserable it was fun. It would have been such fun to have you run with me, or at least be waiting for me at the end. Though, I promise you wouldn’t have wanted to kiss me!

5) “If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.” ― Oscar Wilde

6) I started a business once. Did I tell you that? I was sued and it didn’t work out. I didn’t pay the corporation registry fee and they canceled it my LLC. But the website service lived on for a time, even when I left it alone. Some fellows now want to pay a handsome sum for its use. Meanwhile, a magazine next to me has an article I wrote. Another article is going to press, and each carries with it its own handsome check. I’m working on at least one, maybe two more. Funny how the Lord has always created these side opportunities to have one foot on a cloud and one foot in the mud.

7) What’s would fit best with your idea of a romantic night? Rose petals? A thousand tea lights? We should do a night using nothing but candlelight and firelight. I turned out all the lights in the house tonight and used just candles.

8) Listen to this song and remind yourself it’s all going to be okay…until I can be there to tell you so myself.

Goodnight my dear.
Beren

October 25, 2013 Posted by | Sundry Thoughts | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sundry Thoughts for October, Part III

23. Svabinsky, Max - The Confluence of Souls, 1896Dear Darling,

1) I forgot about you today. Don’t be upset, I pretty much forgot about myself for a while too. When you’re absorbed with and orbiting around the lives and hurts and pains of the ailing, you can easily forget about yourself, immersed in the problems of others. It’s  probably a good feature for someone aspiring to be a servant of Christ. And anyway, it’s just that much cheerier when my mind finally comes to its senses and remembers you. I can see myself making my way through the cold to the car, being warmed by the very thought that a warm house, meal and smile are waiting for me. It’s the kind of thought that pierces any gloom. But today the gloom remained unpierced, even if I do like a stiff overcast day.

2) It’s funny how so many things can be going right, even while you feel like they’re going so wrong.

3) I don’t feel like it’s okay to be weak in front of people, but I need a little help tonight. A shameless, pitying “there there.” A shoulder to cry on. I guess I wind up wanting that a lot, don’t I. But I know, that’s not what men are supposed to want. This cloak of anonymity allows me to be emotional; the words cry for me. But that’s not what you look for in a man, that’s not what’s expected of me. You may say you want to see your man’s frailties, but in reality a man that is stable and strong, always there for you, always a pillar of support, never buckling and always giving is something you’d like. And when I was driving home today, even though it all seemed to be going wrong, my mind turned to you, and how it would be the proper act of self-discipline to turn aside from all my so-called cares and focus only on yours.

But if you want the scoop, the insider’s tip on how to help me, here you go: push past my aversion to being focused on. Just as I would seek to conceal my troubles in deference to yours, push past my self-taught instinct to gloss over my troubles and show me you really care about mine. I’m afraid it doesn’t take very much to make me want to unburden, once someone shows me they care. I’ll need you to control me. On those nights when my soul runs wild, on those days when I overstress myself, when I fret overmuch about the world and its schemes. When I get out of control and work too hard, you may have to reign me in. I’m not sure I can instruct you more beyond that. I’ve spent only 8 of the last 62 hours asleep, The rest of them were spent mostly on work and school.

4) You know how often I’ve said I hope you’re waiting for me. I think there are limits to that. What I mean is, don’t wait for me too hard. You should live your life. Learn about yourself. Make friends. Find hobbies, learn skills. Even…even go on dates. If for nothing else than to see what society has to offer, so I look even better when I come along. (Wink)

5) A quote I read tonight, offered without commentary: “Oh darling, you will be good to me won’t you? Because we’re going to have a strange life.” – Hemingway, “A Farewell to Arms”

6) Have I ever told you about that night I read a nurse’s mind? I doubt it, because it only happened a couple of nights ago. You see, there comes a witching hour between two and four in the morning, when nurses find themselves with little to do but gather to talk. They share the most startling of thoughts, truths and disclosures here; very little is off the table. A proper gentleman might ought to walk away from such secrets, but then, would the servant of Christ shun an opportunity to be His voice for the sake of propriety? (I am afraid, though, that despite my best efforts, my mind is very accustomed to being present for the discussion of ungentlemanly things.) The topic was relationships. (A classic choice.) One nurse told of her fiancee. Another shared her cynical opinion on romance, although subconsciously confiding that she still longed for it. A third merely said she didn’t wish to discuss her love life. After a couple of questions which revealed she had a long-term boyfriend, awkward silence ensued. The unspoken is often much more telling, and I gazed silently at her as I mulled her reluctance. Finally she asked why I was looking at her that way. I told her I was formulating her background in my head. Intrigued, she insisted I share, so I told her that from the little she’d said, I could tell she was in a rocky patch with her boyfriend, but that it was nothing new, was typical of the problems they’d had for years, and so unlikely to change, and in light of that she was weighing the odds of whether or not she wanted to stick with it. Startled, she said that was pretty much exactly it, and asked how I knew. I shrugged it off, but then realized shortly after that this was something God had revealed to me. And if it was, then the glory belonged to Him and not to me at all. “Tell me that again?” she asked soon after while in a patient’s room, and pressed me again on their source. Giving God the glory sounds hackneyed and hokey at times, but I told her sometimes God just shows me things. She later said she wanted to think of more deep questions to ask me because I seemed to have answers. I told her I didn’t, but knew the One who did. It was a very poignant experience in retrospect, one which I wouldn’t share with many I know to avoid boasting, but it was strange to carry that revelation (or was it merely simple deduction?) and the ability to shine for my King to the extent someone wanted to know more.

7) The same nurses pressed me on my relationships, and why they were so rare. Strangely, I have grown to where I dislike discussing my standards, or why I am still alone, not through lack of comfort but because experience tells me they will not understand. Inevitably, I begin to suspect some of them are weighing their odds of connecting with me. I shared that waiting was a precious virtue of mine, and one I sought in someone else. But I realized later that I need to stop talking about it, even when asked. It makes people feel guilty. Truthfully, I’ve come to a difficult conclusion: God doesn’t give you any brownie points for waiting. It doesn’t make me any more special, and I’m not even sure it makes God that proud — especially if the sentiment carries with it the presumption of finding the same gift in another. I don’t regret my choice, but as I think about it, the culture has changed on such a fundamental level that such things are fine by societal standards, and the best you can hope for is that people own up to them as “mistakes” for which they’ve forgiven themselves. A man who hopes for more is an anachronism.

That’s just what I am. A man out of his time.

8) I think exhaustion from love will be about the best kind there is. Don’t you?

Love,
Beren

October 24, 2013 Posted by | Loneliness | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sundry Thoughts for October, Part II

Dear Darling,

1) What’s it like, do you think, to have someone who views it as part of their life’s purpose to support you, love you, help you and build you up? This thought occurred to me earlier today while I was driving back from the bank. (Is it at all strange to picture me, and the fact that if you’d been in the right place at the right time, you’d have been able to see me going about my everyday business?) The thought jolted into my head out of nowhere like so many of these thoughts do…what if someone came into my life right now with that mission, to serve me and love me, take care of me, to be a mother to my children, asking only that in return they be given the same?

2) What is your opinion on beards?

3) I went for a midnight stroll through the neighborhood tonight. I couldn’t resist. There are still too many street lights, and a silvery moon — almost full and peering through the clouds it illuminates — competed with them for custody of my shadow. I walked maybe half a mile.  Aside from some sirens and cars, the noise of civilization stayed at a dull roar, As I retrace my descent, I can smell smoke, and see a raccoon cautiously spying on me from the culvert to see if I’m a threat. I reassure him I’m not, but he still watches me long after I pass his makeshift cavern. I discover the source of smoke I’ve been smelling is just the local fire station with a grill. I don’t tell you these things so much as for my own personal chronicling, but because I would love to have an account of what you did today, or in retrospect years after, and in case you are out there, I am offering up my own.

4) Do you know what it’s like when you wrestle with words? Writing is one of the gifts the Lord seems to have given me, but I’ve come to learn that sometimes writers write because they have to, not because they want to. Sometimes it’s a torment to get words out. Sometimes you feel them inside, but you’re too tired or uninspired to struggle with them. Sometimes it’s a complex process of wrangling, choreographing and arguing with the words to make them say what you want them to say. Many times, you fail. Sometimes the words practically pulse with energy, compelling you to grasp for some form, any form for them to take. Sometimes the inspiration is past before you can finish crafting an outline, let alone the full work.

5) What is your take on Halloween? I was brought up with a view which will not surprise you, not to celebrate it. Age has mellowed the stiff rejection with which I viewed the day, but I still eye it warily and find discomfort in the things it lauds. Witches, ghosts, demons, monsters, everything horrible and loathsome are all celebrated with equal enthusiasm as the birth of Christ, or His resurrection. The Lord commanded His servants to have literally nothing to do with these things. I daresay the Savior would walk right past Halloween decorations to deal with the greater concerns in any given household, but I find it hard to imagine my Savior settling in with me to watch a movie indwelt with the gruesome and macabre. Harvest parties and even costumes are acceptable alternatives, but I truthfully don’t see myself embracing the full nature of a festival of death.

6) What sort of things do you imagine for your dream home? I have a peculiar and perhaps ambitious set of hopes tucked away for Someday. I already told you about some of them. I’d like a massive fireplace and vaulted ceilings, tall enough to accommodate a glorious Christmas tree, I would like to install a prayer room or chapel — a place where I and the rest of the house can go (retreat) to, to feel alone and meet with God. I love the idea of a library, maybe even one you need a ladder for. I’m sure I would stay far too busy to appreciate such a rich estate of writings, but it’s a nice thought. I mentioned the safe room of course, and I’d like to have a tunnel out back. I’m also holding out for a fair amount of acreage, including property to explore (or feel like we’re exploring), woods to get lost in on mythical evenings with full moons and mists, where we need fear no discovery and can be free to be ourselves.

7) You’ll recall I work at the megachurch, where worship is held in an auditorium with a stage, with bleachers which fold back and a floor doubling as a gymnasium. In an interlude, I ventured into the old side of the church, confined to the occasional wedding or funeral. I swear to you my dear, if walls could talk, these are older, kinder, gentler and wiser. The walls of the new building confuse size with power, and so presume to be the most important. They aren’t. It’s here that the hallways narrow, the carpet adopts a homey smell, and the walls seem to welcome you as though they seldom have guests that appreciate what they once were. It’s darker and quieter and, dare I say, more peaceful. The chapel is vacant, but of all the vast buildings, floors and hallways down which I could search, this is where I would choose to be. I half-expected to find Jesus himself sitting inside. Here I could be free to pray, to walk the aisles or sit on the stairs. The black locust tree grows tall and reproduces quickly, but it blows over with little effort. Its wood is cheap and weak, and for that matter, is covered with thorns. What have we lost in prioritizing quantity over quality?

8) Sometimes, a guy needs to know he’s needed. Sometimes, the lady has to do the asking.

9) At last, it’s gloriously nippy outside. Have you ever noticed how, on the first cold mornings, dogs will chase each other and play to keep warm? It seems colder weather makes many animals frisky, and I’m no exception. Tonight, I found myself seething with raw energy, feeling beastly and primal, like walking out into the woods with my shirt off and ripping up trees by their roots for sport. Guys get like that now and again, you know; it’s likely just a surge in testosterone, but it leaves one feeling pent-up, unsatisfied, trapped. But I can see what it might translate into one day, being channeled into a force for mutual benefit. Truthfully, I’m having trouble how there will be anything else when, during our married days, we rejoin each other’s company at day’s end. The faintest hints of an ecstatic dream whisper in my ear, that I’m sitting at my computer and suddenly realize I’m about ready to split some pine logs or run a warrior’s dash while panting steam. So I get up to find you and, catching you by surprise, kiss you with such fierce passion and tender romance that your defenses are overwhelmed and you can’t wait to surrender. I can see this kind of thing happening before dinner, after dinner, before bed, in the middle of the night. I can see us never getting anything done. And I see you wanting, desiring and craving the exact same thing, because you know few things make me happier than seeing you happy.

Are your feet cold? Bring ’em on over…and anything else that needs warming.

Love always,
Beren

October 18, 2013 Posted by | Nights Like These, Sundry Thoughts | Leave a comment

Beren’s Prayer

PrayerOfTheKnighta

Father,

Countless to me are the days and times which I have come before you speaking of my Unknown Bride in the last sixteen years. Surely the times are recorded in the books of heaven, and you know I have prayed for her, about her, and that you would guide me to her.

But now, by Your leave, I come to you to ask on behalf of my future wife’s future groom.

He thinks he’s ready, but in so many ways he isn’t. Maybe no one ever is.

But for her sake Father, I ask that you would refine him into the man You want him to be. Purge the mean, meager qualities that would bring shame to her or to the kingdom. Remove the old habits, the snares and traps of emotion that lie in wait. Teach him to empty him of himself, and be filled with your will and your love.

Make him into a man of quality in every way. Polish him and refine him not until he glows, but until he shines with the reflection of Your glory.

Give him forgiveness and fairness and healing, understanding and unconditional love. Teach him to love her as you love your church, because he is a man and unable to do it in his own strength.

Guard him in his weakness. Guide him in his strength. Equip him to be the leader you’ve commanded him to be, gentle and humble. Teach him to listen, to bear her up and serve her.

Prepare him in ways he can’t even begin to see. Break him even though it hurts, mold him even through his pain.

Grant to him the knowledge to know what is right, and the courage to do what is right.

Grant the wisdom to lead his bride in the way of Christ. Give him the grace to love her as you love us, selflessly and sacrificially.

Teach him patience to be a better father. Teach him submission, that he will accept the dark days along with the good.

Bless him in his endeavors, that he may provide a good life for his family and care for the poor and needy. Give him skill in his work, and favor with his colleagues, that those who see him know that he is favored by God.

Give him discernment to find her, bravery to approach her, and the grace to accept her as she is rather than what he hopes her to be.

Make him her servant Lord, and yours.

Bless our marriage even though it is yet to be. I ask your blessing on our families, that we would be free of dysfunction and disagreements common to families. Grant that there be peace among them, and that we might all dwell in harmony among them. Teach us to pray together always, and to remember our past and Your future.

And finally Father, when you join her hand in his…what we have not, give us, what we know not, teach us and what we are not, make us. For the sake of Your Son, in whose name I make and seal this prayer to your keeping.

Amen.

October 14, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments

Imagine Me

LonelyMoonlightDear Darling,

When you imagine your future husband, what do you see?

What scenes unfold, what hopes play out in the theater of your mind when you let it wander into dreams of the future? What are the ways I meet, surpass or fail those visions?

I hope you do imagine me, the only occasions on which we meet until I find you.

Imagine waking up to find me, standing silent and bare chested at the window, gazing out and lost in thought.

Imagine me, standing at the end of the aisle waiting for you.

Imagine my arms wrapping around you to hold you up when you feel like you can’t keep standing.

Imagine me, standing outside your door with a bouquet of roses behind my back.

Imagine me, squinting behind the camera and making magic out of your poses in the golden sunlight.

Imagine me, coming back in from the snow with an armload of wood for the fire.

Imagine me speaking passionately to a packed auditorium.

Imagine me writing our date nights on our calendar, after we’re married.

Imagine me tending to a wounded victim of a car crash that we happened upon before the ambulance.

Imagine me bringing you a steaming cup of your favorite comfort drink.

Imagine me, getting lost in my work, and you having to drag me back to the real world even as you can’t help but admire my enthusiasm.

Imagine me sleeping too late after working another one of those famous 24-hour days.

Imagine me rushing home from work, heart rate rising with every passing minute because I know you’ll be waiting for me when I get home, to know we can draw the shades and get lost in each others’ arms.

Imagine me, in the middle of the bridge, in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, on my knees, pleading with Heaven for clarity and vision, guidance and fulfillment, the knowledge to find you and the grace to be every inch of the Beren you’ll imagine me to be. Because that’s where I was tonight. And that’s where my heart will be, every night, until I find you.

Love ever,
Beren

October 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sundry Thoughts for October

Dear Darling,

If you couldn’t already tell, I think it is resolved; I love autumn the best. Summer is dwindling, winter is approaching, and in the interim nature seems perfectly content to sun itself under bright blue October skies. I love this weather. I know already there will be days when I’ll come home in rare fine moods just itching for adventure. There’s something about this time of year that makes me feel closer to our days. It’s still inconceivable to me that I could find someone that is physically appealing, emotionally supporting and spiritually compatible, all the while finding me the same. To me, finding you will be like winning the lottery. How could I ever reward the woman who was willing to be my bride?

Lately, I’ve been having some excellent days and even weeks. Professionally, scholastically, aesthetically, even physically, things have just been going well. I’ve been swimming and running again, and it’s been great. My clinical group looks up to me, and I feel enough responsibility toward them to show them what I know, and even bring baked goods to class. (You should try my oatmeal cookies, love.)

But for tonight, ah well, it’s late again, as if late had any meaning for me anymore. With 20- and 30-hour days, work overnight and on the weekends, time takes on a new dimension for me. I ought to be sleeping again. But somehow I still find myself incomplete and wanting to talk. Having left my phone charger at work, I regret how attached to it I now feel.

I’m not sure why, but I seem most comfortable retreating to the place in my heart where I am morose. It’s the familiar sensation which I wrap around my huddled mind.

It’s another one of those nights where I want rich promises and wonderful flowing prose to flow, but yet again I don’t want to be Beren, but merely your husband, tired and smiling, deficient in more ways than love will allow you to count, gently holding you in his arms and stroking your hair. I want to see your eyes, taste your kiss, hear your breathing. I don’t want to talk about being; I want to be. I’m sighing for the chance to put these arms to use and wrap you up in them where you know you can be safe, where we can stay, and we can forget about time and know that we have each other, and are free to love each other until death parts us.

I hope you will join me tonight in lifting our hearts to heaven to seek wisdom and guidance towards that day when we can finally be together.

Love always,
Beren

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Nights Like These | Leave a comment

An Autumn Day

An Autumn Day
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Leaden skies and a lonesome shadow
Where summer has passed with her gorgeous train;
Snow on the mountain, and frost on the meadow–
A white face pressed to the window pane;
A cold mist falling, a bleak wind a calling,
And oh! but life seems vain.

Rain is better than golden weather,
When the heart is dulled with a dumb despair.
Dead leaves lie where they walked together,
The hammock is gone, and the rustic chair.
Let bleak snows cover the whole world over–
It will never again seem fair.

Time laughs lightly at youth’s sad ‘Never,’
Summer shall come again, smiling once more,
High o’er the cold world the sun shines for ever,
Hearts that seemed dead are alive at the core.
Oh, but the pain of it–oh, but the gain of it,
After the shadows pass o’er.”

October 6, 2013 Posted by | Poems | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment