Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Sundry Thoughts for December

My Dearest Love,

For some reason, it feels like it won’t be long before you’re calling me to bed; my body feels at ease as if it knows it will soon be lying next to yours, drifting off to dream. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I actually went to a church this morning, and had that “welcome home” feeling of relaxation and ease, knowing the afternoon was mine to plan. It makes me think of the days to come when you and I will come back home, our home, shaking off the cold as we enter. I’ll help you off with your coat, and maybe more. You’ll fix lunch while I build up a fire. We can both sit on the couch, huddle under the covers and enjoy being in each other’s arms as the sun sets.

Don’t you wish?

1) I’m a little blue again today. The holidays, I think. But it’s time we began making allowances for the fact that on some days, I will feel a little blue in spite of your presence. Doubtless, the small efforts you make to cheer me will make any such triflings far more pleasant than now.

2) It is the sad province of men that he can neither speed nor slow the passage of time to suit his whim. I cannot slow down Christmas to enjoy it, nor can I speed it up to find you. We take time as time finds us, not counting the years but making the years count. A German poet named Freidrich von Logau once wrote “though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.” We’ve yet to be ground, but I wish for the sake of the child in me that I could slow down time and breathe in Christmas this year.

3) Being with someone means doing nice things for them without being asked. But what is a kind deed? What does kindness look like, and how does one set about becoming so helpful and supportive as to become necessary? (That is, after all, what I intend to become for you; vitally necessary, an essential ingredient to your day.) I confess to you, the standard of acceptance for kind deeds is at once both high and low. Low, because I am unaccustomed to kindness unlooked-for, but high because think about what I do for a living. Nurses are consistently present in the lives of the wounded and hurting, the ill and diseased. The worst day of your life may be just another day in mine. I bathe head to foot, deliver a smile and a cup of water, I make you laugh while drawing your blood. This is what kindness looks like to me, and all in the course of a day’s work. I help heal you. Who heals the healer? I don’t mean this to raise an impossible standard, but how do you impress someone with kindness for whom kindness is a career? You may have to rise to the occasion, because I seldom see comparable kindness in the world.

4) I do not ask the question of you without posing the same question to myself, Darling. Kindness for me looks like trash taken out, dishes washed, children (or pets) bathed, rooms cleaned, laundry run, food cooked. It looks like a treasure chest of four hundred letters, written in ink and tears, scattered across the wind until they come home to roost on our wedding night. It looks like anticipating your needs and trying to fulfill them. It looks like looking you over and thinking about what you want, or how I can surprise you with kindness unlooked-for. You can certainly expect foot rubs…and back rubs…and shoulder massages.

5) I’ve always known God had something in mind for me. I’ve always insisted He and I have a standing agreement not to call me to be a pastor, but something in politics. I never aspired to something so high as the presidency, but today during the sermon I felt maybe that would one day be the call. Truly, I don’t want it. And of course, so much to learn before that is even possible. Perhaps because I don’t want it, it is something marked out for me. But God never gives us a task without the means of its achievement, and when I asked, I felt the response was not that He intends me to be president, but perhaps that He wants me to try. What about it, Luthien? Could you be a first lady? It’s a stern and solemn question to consider, not to be answered lightly. If I have preparations towards my goal, then you must take thought into what preparations lie ahead of you, and which you should undertake now. “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”

6) I believe I have imparted before my love of all things old and traditional. The old that is strong does not wither, and my love runs deep for old music, old fashions, old customs and books, old speech and vernacular, of old hymns and old hymnals. If I did not believe in God’s sovereignty, I would speculate that I was born in the wrong decade, if not century. Churches and my Bible study are so quick to embrace the overheads, and I find it sad. More than once my stubborn adherence to page and paper has saved me the confusion others experience when technology goes awry. Too soon my people abandon their roots to pursue the latest fad and fashion. Too late they discover the fleeting and hollow transience of pursuing change; too late they realize there will never be satisfaction in chasing the wind.

7) I reach out to people too much. I’ve told you that before too, haven’t I? (Thoughts change shape but not substance, and sometimes I repeat them, forgetting I’ve shared them before. Four hundred and thirty-five letters, surely you’ll forgive a repeated thought or two.) I’m built to reach out, but I don’t like it. I get restless when people aren’t in touch. I have to hold myself back from texting people who don’t care. It becomes a balance between “am I withholding out of pride” and would Christ really resist such an urge because someone didn’t reply?

7) I’m sorry I’m too needy and emotionally thoughtful at times. I look back on these letters, and through them seeps darkness and woe like a vapor; surely it isn’t pleasing to your eyes as they pierce the veil? At times I am glad to reflect on a night’s writings, whether dark or bright, but seldom do I truly find joy or delight in the reading, except maybe with the thought of how it might one day make you glad. I see these distant, hardened men of history or of film, who want a woman but don’t need her. I think sometimes that’s what makes a woman want a man…the fact that he doesn’t need her. Well my dear, I need you. I make no qualms about that, nor about the thoughts that drift through my mind on nights like this. I hope you will need me, and that you need me now — and that you make no objections to feel thus. Yet, for your sake, I hope you don’t feel the need quite so keenly as I.

Sleep well, Love.

-Beren

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December 2, 2013 - Posted by | Holidays, Nights Like These, Our Timeline | , , , , ,

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