Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Conceal, Don’t Feel

Dear Darling,

How cold it is outside! This winter was far too unforgiving not to sneak up from behind while the sunshine warmed our faces. I don’t mind so very much; a cold soul welcomes a cold night. With jackets and blankets making their return, it almost makes one miss the late months of autumn already, and almost want to skip summer to have them back. Almost.

It’s been a long work week, but a productive one. I seldom settle on one floor from shift to shift, so having three of them on the same floor, and with colleagues I consider friends was gratifying. They trust and even consult my judgment on occasion, knowing that in only a year I will be equally credentialed, and as some of them are new, I have more experience in the hospital setting.

But when I’m not working, the emptiness creeps in. I’ve tried to pick up extra hours a couple of times already this week, to no avail. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your kisses would, if not defeat the hollowness, at least neutralize it, numb it, stave it off. I walk the neighborhood blocks again, surrendering this emptiness to God in hopes He can do the impossible by making something from nothing, repurposing it to His will. If given no one with whom to spend time when I’m not serving, then in my opinion I need more missions. That’s what I ask for; more assignments. Fill up this time, don’t let me stop long enough to let my thoughts catch up. School keeps you always off-balance with continual deadlines and expectations, and severe penalties for failing to live up. And it is a rough way to ride. But it does help fill the space. Some nights, I wind up going to bed uninspired. And of course, I have no claim on any right to be inspired every night, but it’s like going to bed hungry. I’d rather sleep on an empty stomach than an empty mind. With cold days and long nights, all I can think about are the times past when I had someone with whom to spend time, and the times to come, when we’ll be together.

I’m struck again by how many TVs are on in this neighborhood. It’s a drug of choice for my people, and I see its allure, nor do I view it as wholly evil. But I do see a disturbing trend of desensitization to every evil and vice the devil could contrive. These dramas are good at what they do, creating compelling stories and intricate plots that hook you in. They make you want more in your life, and give people something to talk about. But they’re infused with forced moral quandaries, casual sexual flings, subtle promotions of the enemy’s agenda. They make these characters your friends, and then make you more okay with their behavior because they’re your friends. If you were the devil, wouldn’t you subtly exploit this medium to its fullest and quite insidious potential? To pity the sinful, praise evil deeds rendered under the guise of virtue, and mask the consequences manifest in the real world?

Ah, and how do you convince the dreamer that he dreams? Can the sleeper be persuaded that he slumbers? Unfathomable to me is this drive I see in people to seize this world and milk it for all its benefits and pleasures. People don’t understand that satisfaction pursued for its own sake seldom fulfills. Far better to be useful to the world, pursuing the interests of others rather than our own.

I’m not particularly bent out of shape by the ill favor of others, only, it’s a poor witness to be continually disgruntled about the evils of the day, or to call out the sins of their participants.

And so, gradually I’m learning to withhold these opinions. It’s helped because the people with whom I talk on these subjects are drifting away. No one wants to share the weight of the world or the torment of wickedness. People don’t comprehend a soul weighed down by that. Increasingly, the theme becomes “conceal and speak less” on these matters. It’s selfish to add to another’s troubles anyway, especially if that person is accustomed to bearing them. That’s why I hesitate when someones suggests talking to a pastor. This is part of their job, and they are already under such pressure as it is. Nor is it within their power to change, nor do I pretend they can contrive a solution. Why should I contribute to pastoral burn-out? But, it does make me wonder at what point do I accept that few others share this perspective, and at what point do I stop looking for that depth of understanding in a mate?

However, I know there is a line. Miluihun has a multitude of friends she has made at a very large and very shallow church which thrives on fostering a die-hard sense of commitment and loyalty among its denizens. Thus, oblivious to its perils, they simply adore the church and worship its leader.  I need to stop hanging out with this group of friends, because most of them come with baggage, and are broken or overweight, or all three and quickly put moves on me. You know I hate a perceived need to put up walls and be less friendly so as not to lead a girl on, and so far three of them have sent strong signals. A fourth essentially asked me to spend more time with her. How do you tell such a person that you’re 95 percent sure you’re spiritually incompatible? How do you avoid elevating yourself while still recognizing there are different levels of spiritual maturity? I’m sorry my dear, I simply don’t know how to treat such women appropriately, and it seems there is no clear and easy answer. Furthermore, it’s hard to confide these concerns with others, as they often lead to teasing or snorting that my life is so difficult if I have to worry about turning women down. It seems to create an all-or-nothing circumstance where, because they show attraction, I must now close the door entirely, where I wouldn’t have before, just to avoid furthering the honest hurt I’m already obligated to inflict.

After a movie last night, I figured out why happy is sad. Happy movies, proud moments, pleasant holidays…these are the times when you want to reach out and hold the ones you love. I’ve got nothing and no one. I just inscribe these dreams on a page and send them across the wires hoping one day they won’t return void.

I read somewhere that the one thing women want most is comfort. That’s one thing I’m trying to improve on, that and being positive and encouraging to others. (You’d never guess it by reading here, eh?) The author said that women are dying to show their true selves to someone. I’m not sure that’s how you feel, but you should know that I’m dying to see your real self, and dying to be trusted enough to see it.

Stay warm tonight, dear. If I were there, I would resolve the matter myself, and can only send my regrets that I am not. God go with you on this Lord’s day.


May 18, 2014 Posted by | Loneliness, Nights Like These | , | Leave a comment