Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

To Red

“Day after day, you treat me any old way
I wanna go but my heart says no
Acting so strange, but my love still remains
So keep on trying boy; she’s gonna change
Well I’ve been trying
Lord knows how I’ve been trying
But I can’t understand why
Can’t I be your only man?”

Phil Collins

Aw Red.

I’m not sure if I’m mad at you or if I miss you. I don’t think we spent enough time together to know. All I know is that there was great potential —  an opportunity we could have had.

On “paper” you and I were great for each other. You have a servant’s heart. You have great ambition and great achievement. You are beautiful, but you deny it. You one day hope to be a mother and homemaker. You’re the best kind of weird…like me. You’ve done your best to remain pure, and I count you as such. You’re frugal and big on being debt-free. Oh, and you’re tall. I’ve always thought tall girls deserved a guy who was taller than them.

I’ll not deny, there were a few things I internally thought “Hmm, we’ll have to work on that” but c’mon, you thought the same about me, and probably justly so. Isn’t that part of the fun of any relationship? Working out the kinks and quirks together? Compromise in some form or fashion is inevitable, and as far as it seemed, you had just the right amount of things I was willing to let go.

We’re lost souls, you and I —  lost because we’re found. Lost souls always belong together. Especially the ones that serve God, and are left behind by the world, and who choose to shrug it off, dig in and become six different kinds of awesome.

Now granted, that first (last) date was a tad rocky in retrospect. We stayed out way too late talking, and I was almost a zombie working off 2 hours of sleep and a 12-hour shift. But I thought it went way better than you seemed to think I did. I mean, seriously, when’s the last time someone just sat and just listened to you like that before, or asked about your troubles and felt for you in your situation? You thought you’d scare me away by telling me the struggles you’ve faced. You did exactly what I’ve always wanted…started with the worst and worked your way back. I wasn’t phased by it all, and somehow I thought you’d be more pleased by that. I thought you’d be thrilled and overjoyed to find someone of the caliber you sought who also accepted your struggles without judgment. I thought for half a second you might throw your arms around me. I would. But it didn’t seem to matter to you.

Remember, you apologized that you sometimes shed your hair? The next day I went back to the car and searched until I found a few strands, and kept them in a safe place in case this night was worth remembering. And yeah, I told you about it, but I figured you’d find it cute, and maybe start to give you a clue that I’m not like any guy you’ve ever met.

I thought you wanted me to hang around so we could know each other better. But you kept turning down (or ignoring, or even breaking) the dates I asked you out on. I know you think I’m arrogant, but do you have any idea how high a compliment it is for me to ask a girl out?

I thought you were feeling a little lost, and wanted someone who could prop you up when you were teetering. You were kind of a wounded soul, and I know you hate that, but I’m kind of a sucker for those. Lets me flex my hero muscles. I thought you needed a friend and confidant, and I was moved to compassion. I tried to be available and listening. You were broken, but resolute. I tried to comfort your heart, and you snapped at me. I told you how beautiful you were (that’s what I said when we first made contact, remember?) and you just waved it away with that silly “eye of the beholder” line. I reminded you that while I was proud of many of my accomplishments, they didn’t hold a candle to yours. I thought you wanted to vent your frustrations, your sorrows, your angers, your fears, so I asked about them, tried to show you I cared. I wanted to make things all better, or at least be there for you until they were. You told me I was arrogant to think I could. That stung. Isn’t that what a woman’s man is for? You never even gave me the chance to try. You told me your love language was gifts. I count three, over the span of our nine or ten-month acquaintance.

You said you wanted someone to figure you out, because sometimes even you couldn’t figure you out. Yet there I was telling you things about yourself that you hadn’t figured out, catching idiosyncrasies and pegging them with pretty accurate explanations.

You sent me an e-mail that one night, remember? You told me I had already made a difference in your life, that you appreciated and admired who I am and what I stand for. You thought it was sappy, but it really built me up. I don’t get a lot of that. It was the most precious thing I’d read in ages. I thought to myself, if you could keep an attitude like that, you and I might get along well together for the rest of our lives.

I came home early from a vacation so we could go out, and you claimed sickness. So after a five hour drive back home, I drove out of my way to leave you flowers and a get-well card in your mailbox. You were grateful, but the next time I invited you out, it was another fiasco. I finally point this out, and you accused me of keeping score. Yes, I was mad, but only because I felt I was getting brushed off. That’s how it would look to anyone in my shoes! You kept assuming I was giving you the kiss-off when all I was trying to do is get you to understand how you were coming across.

I sent you songs and links I thought would have meaning to you. You never watched or mentioned them, and if I asked, you said you hadn’t had time. (Girl, this is just me, but if someone I’m interested in sends me a link they say will have meaning to me, I leap at the first chance to check it out.)

Our grandmothers are buried in the same cemetery. We’re on the same type of medication. You hadn’t been on many family vacations and I thought it would be really awesome if we wound up married so we could do things like that together. You’re not the first person my mind wandered down a hypothetical history book with, but you really were the first viable option that my mind looked at and exchanged excited glances with the heart about.

You had a honeymoon “to-do” list. I told you that was hot. I rarely tell anyone that, ever. I didn’t tell you it turned me on.

I told you a few secrets, and you told me a few. (I understood you a little better after I read about that one condition in my textbook the other day.) I don’t normally talk about some of those things, and I suspect you don’t either. We trusted each other…fast. I still have a necklace I bought for you when I was on the island earlier in the year — the island where I worked hard every day and then stayed up late at night e-mailing you from my phone. I still have that bucket list you sent me too.

I kept checking in even after you told me you didn’t want to talk anymore. I thought maybe you needed a friend who could stick around even when your own self-defeating instincts made you clam up.

We finally started talking again, a little. You opened back up…a little. I finally felt like I was worth something more than nothing when you turned to me in a moment of grief. I even called you up at 2am on Christmas morning to let you cry to me about missing your grandmother.

I asked you what you really wanted, what you would do if you could do almost anything. You told me a shopping trip to that one store would be nice. I went to the store, picked out a gift card and mailed it to you. Turned out it was your birthday and I didn’t even know. I was basically the only guy who gave you a gift. C’mon Red, didn’t that mean anything to you? Any moron can throw some flowers and candy at you, but a tall Christian who’s waiting for marriage and is basically everything else you describe, who listens and comforts and accepts, but who also puts time and thought and effort into the gifts he randomly sends you to cheer you up — AFTER you’ve given him the cold shoulder a few times? I mean…what’s it take?

There were other buckets of cold water. Alone in a strange city in a strange hotel room late at night, reaching out for your friendship, and you responded that’ you’d be right back…and you never did. With no further prompting, it took you a couple of days to check back in, and then to see if I was alright because you hadn’t heard from me.

You said you’d been trying more lately, and for goodness sake I was communicating clearly that I didn’t feel like you were giving much back, and even offered ideas on what that looked like for me, like waking up to find texts in the morning. I finally eased my way into asking you if you’d like to see where I work and have lunch some time. You told me you weren’t yet wiling to visit my workplace…and you ignored the lunch request. You ignored it.

Like an idiot, I circled back a month or two later. We had some frank chats. I helped you strategize about some of your problems. We had some chats about your music piracy and the R-rated movies you watched. You ultimately suggested we just weren’t compatible. After some thought, I agreed. Then, like usual, you got mad and said goodbye. Again. You NEVER seem to have it in you to fight for what you care for.

Well Red, that pretty much did me in. I spend too much time worrying about other people and sometimes forget to worry about myself. You know that. I finally had to start worrying about myself. As much as I hated it, it meant letting you go. I didn’t realize how much stress you were putting on me until afterwards. I was doing everything I knew how to do, but the more I gave, the less I got. I’ve never sent flowers to a girl before, and since you seem to dislike me or toy with me so much, part of me regrets that you’re the first girl I did that for, if it was viewed with such contempt.

I know you feel trapped. I can’t fathom the depths you’ve descended to, whence you both insult and assault the attempts of a good-hearted man to be there for you. I don’t understand the mindset of someone who fires arrows at the rescue party. I don’t understand how you could feel hurt and slighted when I told you I felt you were hiding something, only to be proven right. I think only now I’m starting to understand…you’re in no place for a relationship. That would explain why you thought you were reaching out when you weren’t. The tiniest of efforts exhausted you, and you were frustrated when I was frustrated that they didn’t amount to much.

I don’t know what you want. Maybe you don’t either. It’s hard for a guy like me to find a girl like you, let alone for you to find someone like me. That’s why it’s so sad to me. If I’m half the guy you say you’re looking for, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t treat me better. I stayed up late into the night to talk to you, giving up valuable hours of my sleep just because it was the only time you were free, even though I had to be up for work. That didn’t mean much to you. I didn’t get much of a thank-you, or an acknowledgement of that sacrifice. Oh sure, you texted “thanks” here and there. Maybe you really meant it. Maybe I’m just the only one who makes sure I go out of my way to thank someone profoundly if they went out of their way for me.

What do I want? I don’t know anymore. I’m fine with drama and darkness if you don’t choose or create them. I know you hate that it’s in your life, but it’d be silly to deny it. I’d like something simpler and easier. I’d love for you I want you to come back and say you’re sorry, and you really do like me a lot, and what can you do to make it up to me?

I know what I don’t want. I don’t want to be the only one that looks interested. I don’t want to be the only one prompting conversations, texting throughout the day, the only one asking how you’re doing, or the only one listening. I don’t want short, terse answers, even if it does include smiles and an lol or two. I don’t want to be the only one that cares. And nine months is plenty of time to prove up on that.

You seem to be left frustrated at my perceptions. I’m just frustrated you can’t see it the way anybody else would. I’m frustrated that I can’t ever seem to connect with the kind of woman I’m looking for. And I’m frustrated that I never can get close enough to someone that it hurts to part company.

For a time, you were a bright spot on the horizon. I thought you were the sun I’ve been looking for, but suns get brighter as you draw nearer. We could have ruled the world. It could have been amazing.

I’m sorry this is so long. In the words of Pascal, “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.” (I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.)


November 10, 2012 Posted by | Other Letters | 1 Comment

To You, From Someone I Never Met

Dear Darling,

Thought Catalog” often posts provocative, profane and petulant articles which give me to despair about the state of my peers and their sex-crazed pursuits. But once in a while, someone posts an article that truly does make me think, or reaches out to me in a special way.

Tonight, this writer described me perfectly. I do not know her. You already know I do not, nor have I ever had, a companion of such intimacy. Yet, her description rings true enough that I felt you should read it. It’s written as a former romantic interest to her ex’s future romantic interest:

I will wonder if you wear glasses, and when you take them off, if the sight of your eyes makes him melt as they did with me. I will wonder if he calls you the most beautiful woman on earth as well, and I will cringe in the possibility that he does, because the man that I know does not know how to love half-heartedly. He will go to any extent for you, and he will be fiercely possessive. And you know something? You will love every second of it, this possessiveness. He will protect you, he will daddy you over, and he will drown you in love.

I have one piece of advice for you. Never take his drive away from him. It is his fuel, it is the one thing that gives him the aggression to believe himself invincible. Believe in his drive, believe in his invincibility. Not that he can’t fall, but that there is no power on earth that can keep him from getting back up and going at it harder than ever before. Don’t take that away from him. If he loves you enough it will break him, if he doesn’t, it will make him bitter. He is an aggressive man. But it stems from the passion I am sure you adore. But he is as gentle as he is aggressive with the woman he loves. Deep down, he wants to love. He wants to give you every single joy in the world, and he will do anything in his power to see your face light up from the way he loves.

He will be jealous of your past, and yes, he will be unreasonable at times. Be patient with him, because when you are at your most unreasonable, he will gather you in those arms that can envelop your very soul, and not let you go until you sigh out your grievances. And he will take care of them for you. You are his woman, he is the one you can rely on; when nothing makes sense, he will set it right, by himself. He will never hurt you willingly, and if he finds out he has hurt you unintentionally, it will rip his heart out. And God save a third person who dares to attempt to hurt you. I was not kidding when I said he is protective — he cannot bear to see you sad.

Never sleep on a fight, because when you wake up, you’ll find him awake, because he can’t sleep on one. Never block channels of communication, never go that far away. It hurts him more than he can tell you. If he cries in front of you, let him. He needs it, though he will never tell you. Know that you’re the most special person in his life if he can just put his head in your shoulder and let things out. Do not try to make him stop, just hold him.

Love him — it’s the most rewarding experience you will have in your life. Don’t impose conditions, and he will make you feel emotions you didn’t know existed. He will teach you of the exact location of your heart, because he will constantly be tugging at the strings there, and it will ache for him when he’s away. He will tell you stories: listen to them. He has a wealth of knowledge he doesn’t know what to do with except share. There are aspects of his childhood he loves, and those he hates. Make him tell you both, because the ones he loves are worth being a part of, and the ones he hates drive him in some manner.

Kiss him. Kiss him for the sake of kissing him. Kiss him because his lips are the softest thing on earth, because kissing him feels like floating on wisps of cotton candy and tastes even better. Ask him to give you his superman hug, but be careful, your body can not take it for more than five seconds. Run your finger down his back, you’ll find this one spot that always makes him jump. Hold hands, you will know how much it means to him the first time you do.

Sometimes just put your head on his chest to hear his heartbeat. Think your own thoughts to the beat of his heart. It will soothe your mind and heart. But of course, you are with him now. You know all these things. You love him, and are intimately familiar with all his quirks. You don’t need me to tell you all of that. What I will tell you, though, is that you’ve got the most precious thing on earth with you, and you will cherish it for all your life. Don’t lose it, don’t waste it, and don’t squander it on petty issues. Let him take you to a world only he has access to. Love him, and let him love you, and I assure you, you will never be the same again.

Something to dream on.

Love always,

October 23, 2012 Posted by | About Me, Other Letters | Leave a comment

To Friend-Zone

I saw you walk in this morning. I hadn’t seen you in a while; I guess maybe you’ve been out of town, which would make sense. It’s a good thing we weren’t in the same classes together. Isn’t it?

Gosh you were pretty. Why’d you have to be so pretty? I mean, seriously. That high porcelain forehead, that raven-black waterfall of hair that you had pinned up in that ladylike “retro” style I find so fetching, that effortless smile and those beautiful eyes. You looked solemn but kind, as if you’d never seen trouble in your life, or as if those troubles never affected you other than to make you wise.

You’re going to look beautiful when you’re old.

It takes a lot to get me to notice you as much as I did, did you know that? There’s a lot of little nuances, things you might not even know you do, which, upon observation, accomplish the feat of raising both my eyebrows and the corners of my mouth.

We met at work when you said you recognized me from here. Afterwards, you stopped to say hi sometimes on Sunday morning, and you offered your services if I had questions about my classes, and introduced me to several of your immediate friends. I friended you on Facebook, whereupon I commenced the behavior any sane Knight seeking his Lady Fair would do; perusing your Facebook feed. I expected to find profanity, sacrilege, indecency, impropriety and imprudence, just like everyone else. You may not understand what it is for a soul to seek evil in a person, expecting any second to unearth the skeletons which force me to stay away…and fail to find them.

Wholesomeness unlooked-for is twice-blessed.

In fact, your friends online spoke highly of your encouragements, your cooking, your listening. You spent time not on video games, movies or alcohol but gardening, running, hiking, photography — productive pursuits, with meaning and purpose.

I asked you to lunch. You immediately informed me it would only be as friends. I must commend the perception you showed in heading me off, even as I remember your deed ruefully. Weeks later, Easter morning in fact, I inquired further, to which you told me you had issues to work though and put most people in the “friend zone.” You were not unkind, but you were resolute, and unexpectedly so.

You kept sharing Bible verses, thoughtful insights, and amazing photos. It was too good to pass up, so weeks later, I could not resist sending you an e-mail explaining to you all the reasons why I thought you a woman of character worth pursuing.

You wrote back to tell me my words were kind (“perhaps too kind”) and full of wit and humor, and that you respected and appreciated my ability to tell them to you — and that you might could learn something from me. But then the hammer rang out: “I am not interested in any sort of relationship with you beyond friendship.”

Ouch. I wish you’d led with that blow.

Perhaps I was foolish to press the issue, inquiring if there was anything I had said, or could say, to impact your conclusion. After all, it was hastily reached with what I deduce to be very little information about me, unless you performed the same due diligence on my Facebook as I did yours — in which case, you would have found nothing objectionable.

You told me you were seeing someone, and asked me as a gentleman to drop it.

That’s the part I don’t understand, and I admit, angered me. The simplest put-off in the world is simply to say “I’m sorry, I’m seeing someone right now.” You could even have faked a hint of sadness, so that not the slightest injury could be taken away. Why the charade about issues and friend-zones? Instead of simply saying your attentions were otherwise occupied, you felt it necessary to go above and beyond to impress upon me how uninterested you were. I find it hard to believe you capable of such avarice, but I can force no other conclusion from the facts. You left no room for “down the road” nor any reason for your abject dismissal. I felt it best to remove you from my friends list, a fact you have no doubt discovered since you no longer so much as look my way when you walk by in the mornings.

Since I hinted at a strong emphasis on purity, I have a hunch you gave it all away with a couple of guys. Just like everyone else, a sullied gem, a festering lily which drags itself through muck and grime for pleasure or fulfillment.

You shouldn’t be allowed, you know. I gave you neither my heart nor permission to touch it, yet still it beats faster up in my chest when I see you. Even today! There should be a rule. Who do you think you are, scattering smiles and charms and scorning their admirers? Why should you so quickly hold in contempt a treasure I have spent a lifetime preparing? There are very few people to whom I would even consider granting this inheritance. Oh, don’t misunderstand, it’s not money, not all of it, though I do well enough for myself. It’s my heart. It’s these letters. It’s my affections, my attentions, my service. It’s…all I have to give.

Not many are so grave or so austere as to serve so swift a rejection of a knight, Raven-Hair. Not many can afford to cast aside the potential for greatness.

If I thought you were worth it inside, if you hadn’t closed the door, if you weren’t ignoring me to this day, I might perhaps still exude my efforts to win your attention.

As it is, you have made that decision for me. And so, you leave me wishing you well, hoping you are a mere imposter, a cheap imitation of the beauty that will be my bride, and barking harsh words at my heart for daring to aspire to the lofty lady and her swift derision.

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Other Letters | 7 Comments

From Luthien

Dear Beren,

I can just see the look of surprise and happiness on your face when you read these words! Well here I am, your Luthien.

I want to answer your questions and ease your mind, and of course I have so many questions to ask and things to say to you too! But there’s a lot I’m not allowed to say right now. You already know, neither of us can cheat time, or God’s plan.

But here are some things I can tell you.

First, I do exist! I’m out here (I can’t tell you where!), and I’m so in love with you already. You have no idea! I am not at all sure I live up to the image of me you’ve built in your mind, but I’m here. Of course, I don’t know where YOU are either…you couldn’t at least post a picture of yourself?

Second, I am so happy to read your letters. They make my heart want to burst. They make me want to cry and laugh and dance and run around the room and take you into my arms and call you mine and hug you. I can’t wait for you to put a ring on my finger and call me yours, I can’t wait to start all our adventures together.

Third, I’m sorry I’m not allowed to say if I’ve waited. 😦 Sweet Beren dear, I wish I could say something to you to soothe your hours of anguish. I see you’ve decided to bury your feelings about that for now. I’m sorry I can’t put your mind to rest about it. I want to take your head in my arms and comfort you and make it all better. But I’m so proud of you for what you’ve done with your life so far. I look forward to hearing more about these mysterious stories you keep hinting at!

Fourth, I LOVE YOU. There is a part of me that is still a giggly little girl that wants to laugh and clap my hands to hear you tell me that, and tell you so, but I do!

Fifth, I was especially touched by your pledge to be a father. You guess correctly that it’s a desire of my heart to be a mother. I want our children to look up to you as the spiritual leader of our house, and I’m thrilled to hear you promise all of that. I’m thrilled to read ALL of your promises.

You’re right that the world sometimes beats us down. I’ve been beat down and back in some pretty sad ways. It makes me sad to think I will have to tell you them. But as you say, maybe we will come into each other’s lives just in time to save each other.

I want to write more to you, but I even more I want to MEET you! Until then, try not to assume too much about me. I may not be everything you think I am, but I’ll try.

Kisses, hugs, and all my love!

-Your beloved Luthien

July 28, 2012 Posted by | Other Letters | Leave a comment

To She Who Never Called Back, Pt. 2

To She Who Never Called Back:

Madam, you saw me pulling into the parking lot this evening. Not only did you recognize me, but you grinned broadly and waved.

I hope it goes without saying that your action left me perplexed. Were you simply being kind? Did you forget my face, and in the rapid shuffle of your mind, automatically smile and wave, assuming they were the safest and most appropriate response, only to remember who I was and kick yourself for waving once you were out of sight?

Have you been hoping to see me because you stopped seeing the man you were dating and wished to find me again?  Did someone tell you that a man who approached you again, a year after you left off phone conversations must surely be a man worth finding? Did you, perhaps, find me more appealing since last we met? After all, I have cut my hair shorter (a change everyone approves of), purchased a new car, lost weight and bulked up. Are these changes you could discern during a split-second intersection of cars? Are you so shallow that such changes would sway your mind?

Or do I, perhaps, make too much out of a singular incident?

Well, you mustn’t blame me. I had assumed the sentence, paragraph, chapter and book were all closed on the matter and shelved. To find even an illusion of life in that book is mildly startling.

Don’t worry. I frequent that store and that parking lot quite often. If you’ve more to say to me, I’m sure you will catch up with me eventually.

July 14, 2012 Posted by | Other Letters | Leave a comment

To The Sister From Another Mother

We’ve known each other for years. Among my friendships, ours is one of the oldest.

The last time I saw you, I hugged you for the first time. Was it me or did you look really happy to receive that hug? But we were never destined for romance, you and I. We were more like brother and sister, and content to be so. We were happy to interact now and again, or grab lunch, commiserate on being lonely.

Remember that one Valentine’s Night, when neither of us had anything to do so I called you up and asked if you wanted to just grab dinner (just friends!) so neither of us would be alone? Or how about the time I tried introducing you to a friend of mine I knew because I thought you might hit it off?

At the end of the day, no matter what other abominable catastrophes took place in life, at least I could remember that somewhere out there was a friend who stood with me against the crowd, who stood on the same principles of purity and chastity and waiting — an island of common ground. I was so proud.

Now you’ve joined the deserters.

I don’t understand. You and I stood for something. We even talked about it. All our friends were taking the wrong turns and making messes of their loves. Your own sister gave birth to an illegitimate child, and I grieve for her that she has ruined the life we all wanted for her.

In our despondency, we had conversations about how difficult it was. How could you abandon me now? I thought you were stronger than that. Did I not look in on you and encourage you from afar? I wanted to protect you. Even though I wasn’t appointed to be your groom, I wanted to see you happy and make sure you were safe. I wanted at least to keep your dragons at bay until someone could take over the task full-time. Now you’ve gone and cuddled with them. What was the point?

I invested time in you as a brother. I wished you joy, and tried to bring you some when you needed it. I couldn’t wait to see you do it right, to show them all it could be done. I couldn’t wait to be in your wedding. I talked you through some hard times, and encouraged you because I know you needed it. “King’s Daughter” I called you, remember?

We even had a half-joking agreement that if we should fail to find love after a few years, we should marry just so we wouldn’t be alone. I guess you shot that all to pieces, didn’t you. I think in my sadness, I would not come to your wedding now if you invited me.

As a brother, I feel like I failed you, even though I did everything I could. I lost you. You lost you. “Nobody’s perfect”? Spare me. That’s an excuse, not an apology. Although, spare me the apology too.

I’ll bet you didn’t know you could break off a piece of my heart that easily, did you. I’ll bet you didn’t didn’t think I cared, didn’t know it would hurt, didn’t know that in abandoning me for the night’s embrace, you would leave me literally trembling. The night I found out, I was shaking and asking God “Why??” I think if you had seen me, you would have been very alarmed indeed.

“It’s no different than any other sin,” you say? God doesn’t count sins as weighing more than others? Perhaps not. But this isn’t like taking a drink, or saying a bad word, though I feared for you as I observed these behaviors taking root in your life. This isn’t stealing a CD or striking a friend in anger, or even a moment of looking in lust. This isn’t a breach of contract, it’s a breach of covenant. It’s a deliberate decision to leave the path of wisdom, to put self and pleasure first before God, before your vows, before your family and friends and church. This is never being able to give your husband yourself wholly and completely on your wedding night. This is never being able to look your daughter in the eye and tell her to follow in your example when she faces temptation.

You’ve forsaken your virtue, your purity. You’ve joined the world.

Oh my sister and friend, of course you can be forgiven. But it will never be the same. Actions have consequences. You’ve proven you aren’t the person I thought you were. You’ve helped the devil believe no one is beyond his reach, and played into his hands. Who knows what consequences the years will bring you? You’re another vessel damaged by steering too near the shoals; a warning to other ships.

Even if I found my Luthien today, and married her tomorrow in perfect marital bliss, a piece of my heart will always ache for what you were…and could have been.

I thought of you again last night. We haven’t talked much since then. Actually, hardly at all. Granted, I’m way busier now, but I think I was the one who initiated most contact anyway. Take away the spring and the lake dries up.

You frighten me with your testament to the power of darkness. I swear, I get a kick and twist in the gut every single time I think of you. I want to forget about you, about everything. You’re probably a little sad and maybe angry, feeling like our friendship was contingent on purity, and that I’ve left you because you fell. I didn’t reject you…you rejected me. You have done what you have done, don’t you dare be angry with me for the fallout! You can’t come back and pretend nothing has happened.

The last thing you should do to a man who is hurting and lonely is leave him. But I guess you had other things on your mind. You cut that tiny golden thread of connection and unity.

You can never read this letter. I know how much it would hurt you. Sometimes, I confess I want you to feel that pain. I have avoided that fire because my Father told me to, but also because He warned me of the pain. I would not see others so lightly escape the pain that I have labored to avoid.

I have asked God to forgive me of my unforgiving attitude toward you. Maybe something will change. In the meantime, you have galvanized my fierce determination never to turn out like you.

January 23, 2012 Posted by | Other Letters, Purity | 2 Comments

To She Who Did Not Wait Pt. 2

Well for starters, I didn’t even think there’d be a part 2. But I didn’t used to think there’d be a part 1.

I think God is putting me here for a reason. I’m trying to understand, really I’m trying. Work with me here. Until this past year, I haven’t been on the scene of any relationships at all. Then an angel came down, peered at the wiring, shouted “Well HERE’S your problem!” and plugged in a loose connection. Ever since then, I’ve had opportunities and options that eluded me for years. I can already see some of the pull and attraction of romance. But then again, my guard is up so high that it’s hard to let it down and just be me and enjoy those comforts of knowing and being known.

I think God’s working on my ability to forgive. I’m not saying I’m there, I’m just saying it’s not as hard as it used to be.

I know you didn’t break my heart on purpose. I know you were just trying to create love, even if it didn’t exist. I’m trying to understand that. I’m trying to tell myself you didn’t have the same teaching and guidance that I did.

But you have no idea what that does to a guy. Search the internet if you doubt me. There’s guys and girls galore who are scraping the inside of their hearts and souls, desperately clawing for some wisdom, truth or grace to remove the knot inside their gut.

Any time I’ve ever brought it up, it’s only been to try to talk my way through to a peace about the matter. Talking about a subject can disarm it. I wanted reassurance that I could somehow be different, and not just because I was the last in a line. I wanted to know you regretted what you’d done. I wanted to hear you say it’s all in the past, it means nothing to you, it was never real and that somehow even through all that, you were waiting…that you want so badly to get it right and you’re waiting now. I wanted to hear that you wish you could have waited, that you’re so glad I did, and that you value that in me more than anything, even if we didn’t wind up together.

You know what I really wanted? I wanted to read something like this:

Dear Beren,

Recently I’ve seen how you’re struggling with the fact that I am not a virgin and you are. I see that this hurts you, and although it hurts me too, I hate that I’m the subject of your struggle. I wish I could say the magic words to untie the knot in your gut and give you peace. Better still, I wish I could go back and undo the deeds of the past that haunt your mind today.

Since I can’t, let me at least say a few things that I hope will ease your mind and comfort you.

First, the person that I was is not who I am today. I am changed. I may not be able to erase my deeds, but God can erase my sins just as He erases yours. I did not have the advantage of wisdom and guidance as you growing up. If I had, I think things would be different.

Second, I am so very glad you made the decision to wait for me. I am honored beyond words that you tamed your desires in deference to giving them whole and complete to me. It is this restraint that draws me to you. You had strength where I had weakness, and I admire and respect that strength. You are leading us both along this path now, and I am grateful and content to rest in that strength and make it my own.

Third, my past mean NOTHING to me now. I write it off as a loss; I choose not to remember them, and I promise you I will never compare you to them. If it’s of any help, there’s not a man alive I would choose to give this gift to now except you…and even then, not until I am wearing your ring.

If we have our own special journey ahead of us, and I promise you with all my heart that if we step through the door and into forever together, I will do everything I can to make it worthwhile.

Please accept both my apologies for the past and my promise for the future, and let them comfort you in the hours when your mind returns to my past.

I’m sure it was too much to ask, and I’m sorry I brought it up. At least you were honest.

I’m starting to understand. I’m trying.

I don’t know what the solution is, but I know it starts with Jesus; opening everything in your soul to Him and letting Him purify it. No one can change for somebody else. This would mean letting go of other habits too. It may seem daunting, but I know without a doubt it would all be worth it.

January 3, 2012 Posted by | Other Letters | 2 Comments

To She Who Did Not Wait

“The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself, it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.”

It’s not easy to write this. But I must. I feel like I owe you this, an explanation.

It’s hard for me to see through your eyes. You’ve walked other paths and learned different lessons. You’ve known love before, or what you call love. You’ve known kisses, and the night’s embrace. I’ve never even known the touch of lips against mine.

Were I to see through your eyes, I am certain I would feel hurt, condemned and rejected to be told purity is a condition of my love. But if you look through mine, would you feel any different than I?

You’ve appeared in my life as different people now. Each time, I am tempted to allow my longing for a love and a relationship overcome my higher longings for purity.

“Oh la!” you say laughingly. “I’ve already been there. It’s not so important once you get there!”

Maybe not. But every time I remember that you gave everything you are to another man, and allowed him to know you and hold you before me, I am crushed and heartbroken. Not important? Nor indeed is air while you are breathing it, until you take it away.

Oh sweet and fallen woman, couldn’t you have waited a little longer? Why couldn’t you? Don’t you see we could have had it all? How close you came…how close! Now every thought is poisoned by the knowledge that I would have to share your mind and strive to redeem your memories. You gave your heart away, and although I give you mine whole and unbroken, I would have to accept only what remains of yours. It is an unbearable contemplation.

It hurts, it almost literally hurts. They say Davy Jones cut out his own heart to remove the pain. Maybe now I know why.

Can’t you see? You started without me. You began the journey that should have been ours. I can never experience those first few moments where we take each other’s hands and step though the doorway and take our place in the book of love. I must walk them alone to catch up. I’m left resentful, cheated, and condemned to walk alone the one path I can’t ever abide exclusion from, forever a step behind you. I don’t want to be taught by you; I want us to take those first few awkward steps of discovery together. Is it a love so ungracious that it dares ask for everything?

It isn’t as though I’m unforgiving; I choose not to be in the position of one who has to forgive. I would not begin our life together mourning that loss which is so permanent, so irrevocably final. Do you fault me for being unkind? Can you forgive when I cannot? One First does our Lord give us in all of eternity. Another man has yours; you gave him something you can never give me. That is a devastating thought. Don’t think me unkind for thinking it.

I feel as if it cheapens my gift, the gift you cannot return. It cheapens the long years I’ve been waiting, and would render my promises in vain.

One easy solution would be to treat my gift as lightly as you did. Then I could no longer hold this against you; the great barrier would then be breached. What then? Having not waited, you could hardly hold it against me if I didn’t! But I did. I made sacred promises, to abide by the word of God. I will not renounce them. Though, I am nearly alone in this decision; few now remain who serve God over self.

You say I have no idea how strong that desire can be. Indeed! Do you think a man doesn’t know of such feelings? Do you suppose I haven’t felt the heat of flames? That fate has not tempted, that the evil one has not given me chances? God in His mercy grants me the strength to resist, at the cost of my loneliness, sorrow and tears.

“No one is perfect,” they say. “You mustn’t judge.” Of the billions of souls that walk the earth, am I not allowed to ask only one to share such fierce convictions, both to me and God? The problem is not mine; why must character isolate?

Eternity goes two directions. It holds both the past and the future. I stand ready to give you my past as well as my future. I give you the exclusive devotion of the years gone by as well as years yet to be. Is it so harsh to ask for the same?

It’s so very hard, because I know you wish you hadn’t, and I know you want someone like me to love you. My heart fills with sadness. You came close to ending the drought of this soul, and I wish I could have ended yours. I could have granted your wishes, soothed your pain, kissed away your cares. But we all choose the paths we take, and must live with the consequences. Don’t think I do not grieve at such consequences, or at such parting.

God forgives and removes our sin, but not the memory of it; and no one forgets their first love.

I can’t share you, not even with the past. It hurts too much, oh, far too much.

I can’t change what has been, but neither can I accept it.

I’m sorry. I tried.

December 10, 2011 Posted by | Other Letters | | 13 Comments

To She Who Never Called Back

You were the prettiest girl that’s ever worked there. We worked in the same store, but never together. Sometimes you’d walk by and ­­­­– it’s seven years ago now but I still remember – you wore some bewitching fragrance that smelled like strawberries.

My head spun.

I was young and in no position to ask you out, but not too young to feel the attraction.

I have to admit, my heart still jumps just a little bit if I see you, and my mind never functions quite right the few times we’ve talked. I tried to say hello again once, do you remember? I’m sure I made an utter fool of myself…you have that affect on me. I’m not normally like that. I’ll have to assume this is just a foreshadowing of the real thing yet to come with somebody else.

I finally mustered the gumption to call you at home. Do you know how many times I picked up the phone only to put it back down? How many times I paced and fretted and stared at the phone? It took more courage than I thought. I had a page full of notes and I rehearsed what I’d say, oh yes I did! I finally understood the stories and tales of men who feared this sort of thing.

We finally had a conversation. I was so happy to learn you loved the Lord. But we never talked again; you never returned my calls or e-mails. I eventually assumed it was a hint.

I ran into you in the parking lot tonight. Do you know how long I’ve waited for such a chance meeting? Oh, I knew where you worked, but it would be rather presumptuous to come in just to talk to you, don’t you think?

I always wondered if I read the signals wrong. Maybe you were just too nice to tell me you weren’t interested. Maybe you were interested in someone else that a year’s time had taken out of the picture.

I hope I didn’t take you by surprise. I resolved months ago to talk to you the next time I saw you, and even hung up on a friend just to say hi. You are still among the prettiest girls I’ve never known, though your eyes looked a little more care-worn. And once again, my mind didn’t work quite right. What do you say to someone you’ve only just slightly adored from a distance, someone you don’t even know?

You had the charity to remember our conversation. Well-done. You didn’t explain why you never called back so I’ll assume that means I read the signals right. All the same, I asked you if you’d like to have coffee sometime. It couldn’t hurt to ask, and wasn’t as hard.

“I’m dating someone.”

Ah, of course. No, I don’t blame you. I’m happy for you. I wish I’d said so at the time, but since you don’t really know me, what would it matter?

Pretty thing, you’ll never see this letter. You probably have no idea, no clue at all that you go through life, living day to day scattering your charms and stupefying some men’s minds. Maybe you do know and it’s a talent you manipulate. I think you’re too innocent for that, but I’ve thought that before. No matter. I have the privilege of never knowing your faults or weaknesses. You’ll remain a light and dainty memory of an attraction spurned and a lesson learned.

There are occasions in this world world when we’re given fleeting and false glimpses of the future. They are pleasant but flimsy. I never thought I had a chance and knew better to place anything other than idle thoughts on you anyway.

I am glad for the opportunity to end this unfinished chapter. I wish you the best, and I’m sure someday we’ll have a laugh together in heaven. Until then, best of luck and I hope you find everything you’re looking for.

December 10, 2011 Posted by | Other Letters | 2 Comments