Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Always and Never Alone


“Where has that old friend gone, lost in a February song
Tell him it won’t be long til he opens his eyes, opens his eyes
Where is that simple day before colors broke into shades
And how did I ever fade into this life, into this life?”

Dear Darling,

The page turns and another month is concluded. It’s been a year of ups and downs so far Darling, nothing phenomenal and nothing terrible, just an increasing speed as we plow through the breakers.

I’ve always been a bit wary of occasions in which a man and woman share dinner and a movie, or operate under similar circumstances which would normally be branded a date. At times, the line between kindness and flirtation already grows thin enough. I don’t want to lead a girl on, nor feed a placebo relationship and shortchange the soul of the nourishment it requires. But twice this week, I’ve been “out” with different friends in a form some would construe as a date. Loswen and I met for casual dinner, and somehow she found a way to make me do most of the talking.

Tonight, having invited several friends, only one could make it, a classmate I’ll call Nyérëwen. I knew we had similar beliefs, and that she was a single mom whose husband left her. She was on the verge of mourning due to the death of a mutual classmate. I asked her questions about her life. My intent was to listen to her and let her talk, because obviously she’d come by bitter roads, although I doubt she feels I did her a favor by listening. It doesn’t matter…the actual benefit given is what matters. She was distracted and occupied tonight, and perhaps that’s reason enough that no one else came. I suppose I don’t mind. She obviously needed to get her mind off the bad day she’d been having, even if it was dinner and a dollar movie with me. I wanted to hug her close and tell her she’d made the Lord proud through all of her struggles, and that she was so close to finally breaking even. But one restrains such expressions; knowing what to say isn’t always useful if you know you shouldn’t say it. Words weave powerful spells, and you must take caution on whom you cast them.

Still, I wonder how many people have wanted to do that to me and restrained themselves? And I can’t remember the time someone sat down with me just to listen, asking questions when the words ran dry, intentionally applying therapeutic listening skills to help me feel better. And then, I presume, patted themselves on the back before going straight home to tell their unknown bride what a good listener they are.

I wish I could say I knew this classmate that died, but with so many women in the program, I didn’t. I wish I’d shared the gospel with her, but how could I have known? Sometimes the gospel is lived, not preached, but maybe that’s just as easily a coward’s way out. I’m sure I’ve told you how, whether megachurches, airports or the vast complex of hospital floors on which I work, I’ve always wound up working with large masses of people. It’s been difficult to remember names or faces, and I’ve been known to lose track of who’s already heard what story or bit of news.

It does seem that loneliness transcends these crowds. I’ve been with friends this week, in a few different groups and settings. For a little while, it staves off loneliness. But only at the time. I had most of the day off today, and again, after a packed week, I still went slightly stir crazy with “only” an article to work on.

I’m always looking for things that explain me as you know, Darling. Half the sum of these letters are my meager attempts to explain myself, to me as much as you. In light of that, take a look at this article. Traits one through six apply directly, as well as numbers ten and fourteen. I always thought sensitivity was a trait you chose, a behavior you selected. I’m not sure it occurred to me that “some people just aren’t as sensitive.”

I went to the bookstore two nights back. Their anthologies of poetry were unfortunate, and I walked out without one book of poetry in hand. What is the world coming to?

I’m likely to be moving again. A dark-hearted cheat tried to sell me a dream about renting my own house, but in time I saw through the lies. And the fellow I room with currently is presenting behaviors I don’t think I can long abide. So, in all likelihood it’s back with Alegfast, in a house too old and cramped and tight for my liking. But the price, company and proximity are right.

More icy weather is on the way this week. They say it could be bad, in the truest tradition of my city’s ice storm heritage. Bring it on.

I’m still praying for you, you know. I hope your weekend has a little more receiving and a little less giving than mine.


“And I never want to let you down; forgive me if I slip away
When all that I’ve known is lost and found
I promise you I, I’ll come back to you one day.”

– Josh Groban

March 1, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. You most likely didn’t intend for this, but this letter to your bride convicted me on two counts. One, of my sin of not sharing the Gospel as I know I should. I never stop to think that people are actually dying & need to hear the words of Life.

    Two, of how I treat people sometimes. I think that, sometimes, the therapeutic words are more harmful than helpful but I still say them. As much as my perception is dead on, my wisdom is severely lacking.

    Comment by An Unfinished Lady | March 1, 2014 | Reply

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