Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Help Me Lose My Soul In Your Song

Framed by MoonlightDear Darling,

It occurs to me that in unburdening myself from the plurality of doubts or questions that assail me, it’s possible I’m only adding to your sadness. Could it be that sharing the loneliness and darkness which lurk in between the hours only makes me a sort of emotional parasite?

I certainly don’t mean it to be. I mean it to be the sharing of my innermost thoughts, a reflection of the things I will find precious in you. It’s a demonstration of trust. Most secrets are a burden to the soul, but for now only you can be trusted with this, that at times, blackest night fills my soul.

Now you may rightly suggest such trust is diminished if yours aren’t the only eyes that can read them. And perhaps those eyes too turn away, like humanity does when it observes a plight upon which it cannot improve. But I believe in setting an example in all things, and you should know that I have received letters from the other souls who were inspired to create the same treasures for their future spouse, and to better themselves in the meanwhile. And I hope you’ll accept that in fair trade, knowing that there is only one person in all of humanity for whom these words are written.

Who do you inspire, being the lovely creature I know you must be? Being someone’s inspiration is always gratifying, and for me it seems to be occasioning more often of late. It happens when I’m not trying. Miluihun has taken up swimming because it was something I suggested. I’ve been cooking up enough food for a week at a time, as well as working out, both of which are habits to which Alegfast has expressed interest. I think we should always strive to be someone that inspires others…if for no other reason than because in so doing, we inspire ourselves to become better. We never know who is watching and imitating.

So tell me, how was your day? Was the weather as opulent for you? I spent most of it sleeping off last night’s shift, an exciting night fraught with people trying to die. And as I wander the neighborhood tonight, I find myself settling into a feeling of contentment. Correctly I judged that restlessness rears its head when I’m not caring for others. The night was exhausting, and fulfilling, and educational and gratifying. It doesn’t hurt that school is out and I’m free to perform these labors; I’m glad to break free of days yet again, no longer thrall to the sun.

I think it’s important to enter the throne room each night. (Of course, I also think it’s also important to approach God’s Word every day and on that matter I’m less faithful.) That’s one reason I take my walks. It’s a form of meditation…it allows you to step outside of your own head (or perhaps inside of it) for a while. When you walk into the throne room, you realize how much you’re carrying from the day, how much you need to unpack and sort, what to throw away and what to hold on to. Sometimes I realize I haven’t really thought about the Lord for a lot of the day…much less you or even myself. But I’m not always sure that’s an evil.

It’s the perfect temperature out here tonight, with silvery clouds framed by a burgeoning moon. (The photo you see above.) The streets are silent and vacant. A blended host of fragrances wax and wane during my walk, earthy moisture, soothing winds, pungent shrubs, fertilizer. And although I try to pray, or compose letters in my head, I find silence serves me better than anything. I think perhaps this was even the Lord’s doing…to compel me to be still and know He is God. God wouldn’t have left us those words, “be still and know I am God,” unless our human natures inclined to the opposite of both. (I think if there were only two words I were permitted to travel back and give my younger self, it would be “talk less.”) Sometimes prayer or worship takes work…but sometimes there’s a restorative peace in these silent walks, and I hope you have the opportunity to duplicate them.

I booked the band for our wedding tonight, by the way. Now don’t get ahead of me, for you’ve final veto authority if you’d like. But of course such are always in the back of my head somewhere, and tonight I attended a live jazz concert outdoors, and as the music poured over my ears like so much honeyed brass, strings and reeds, I thought of you and wished for your presence. We’d have danced, I think — not particularly gracefully, though I daresay it won’t be vain if we learn together some day. (Few things lift my heart like live jazz, much less the renditions of the songs from a bygone era.) I approached the director afterward to inform him that I would like him to play at my wedding. He asked when it was, and I explained that with my first sentence, he now knew as much as I did. They gave me the going rate, and as far as I’m concerned, they are hired. I can already see you swaying in my arms to the gentle sounds of big band romance.

They played this one song tonight, Darling…I think you’d have liked it. Rio De Janeiro Blue. “Months go by,” went the third verse. “I wonder why, I’m left here on my own. Could it be my destiny, is to live this life alone? These dark and rainy days have turned me cold; long and sleepless nights, gettin’ on and I get a feelin’ that I’ve seen the last of you, Rio De Janeiro Blue.” (Aye, more of the blues than jazz in that song, but ’twas here especially that it plucked the chord of loneliness in your absence.)

All around, I see the continual reminders of the advancing years. I’ve told you about the marriages and engagements and such, but even within my friends and younger family, job interviews, graduations and drivers tests abound. A foreshadowing, perhaps, of how parenthood will speed by in the unfolding of the years, and as we watch our children grow. For all practical concerns, all of the life we’ve lived before now has taken place in a second. Every year we’ve lived is now compressed into what has passed, existing now only as a memory. I’m a sad frown, adrift in a sea of smiles; couples and dancers and young love’s romancers, all whirling and gay and if they look at me, it’s with the unspoken question, what’s wrong with him that he finds not the love we found with such ease?

And yet, I think we may rightly console ourselves that the best of the years are still in store. It is with this hope that I close this letter, sealed with a kiss blown onto the night air. There may it be carried to where you sleep, and there may it warm your dreams.

Love always,
Beren

Advertisements

May 14, 2014 Posted by | Nights Like These | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Consecrating the New Year

The Vigil exhibited 1884 by John Pettie 1839-1893Dearest,

What do the Bible, a pistol, a match, a pen, a stethoscope, a phone and a handful of salt have in common? Each of these seven items represents what my life has been, what it will be, and what I hope it will be. And as I knelt by the bed, a candlelit prayer to consecrate this year to the Almighty, I spread each of these out to remind me.

The Bible: that the word and will of God would be ever before me in all that I do. I have been less than diligent as a warrior in the service of the King to read and apply it to my life. This new year must be different.

A pistol: that I may always be prepared to defend that which is holy, pure and precious, a modern day knight’s sword with which to protect and defend, and that I may never need draw or use it, and if I did that God would be with each involved.

A match: that I may be light and heat to all that are brought across my path. A match burns for but a short time before being extinguished. Our lives are the same, although we realize too late how fleeting is our time on earth. In that span, we may spread that flame to others, or for a moment brighten an entire room. I would that my life would burn, be consumed if necessary, to furnish sufficient light to illumine the Cross. I pray that I may bring someone to the kingdom this year, and maybe many someones.

A pen: that my words may continue to be used to spread truth, and that God may bless them with love and mercy, qualities which I admit are often lacking in my determination to stand for truth. God has given me a gift of eloquence at times, and the opportunity to be compensated.

A stethoscope: that God would continue to bless my career in medicine, to grow in knowledge and skill to be a safe and proficient healer, and to listen to the voices and hearts of others when they turn to me for help.

A phone: that I may be a friend and brother to all who need me, to seek knowledge…and to stop using it so much when it’s unnecessary.

Salt: to be a flavor and a savor in my conversation; to season it with wisdom from above, and to preserve.

My dear, and all who come hereafter to read these words, take courage and hope for this new year. All things are in the Father’s hands, and even that which seems ill can redound to carry out His greater plan. I greatly encourage you to think of the things which characterize your life, past, present and what you hope it to be. Remember them. Lay them out before God and thank Him for His blessings in those areas, ask His blessing and guidance in those areas in times yet to come.

My darling, I wish you a brave, joyous and prosperous new year. May this year be the year all your wishes come true, and may you and I, whether apart or together, strive to better ourselves to serve the Lord, each other and others.

Love always,
Beren

January 1, 2014 Posted by | Holidays | , , , , , , , | 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

When I Don’t Have All The Answers

The_Thinker

“Sometimes we stumble, sometimes we even fall
And we can’t find a friend, can’t comprehend it all
And we are lost, with nothing to hold on to
When we can’t find the answer…sometimes a Prayer will do.”
Secret Garden

Dear Darling,

Wow. When life catches up with you, it really catches up with you.

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of reevaluation.  sudden and maddening rubric of decisions came on me, a challenge to most of what I’ve been shooting for in life.

First, I slammed headlong into some personnel challenges with my political work, causing me to lay down the banners I’ve been carrying successfully and rather publicly for the last five years and step back to reevaluate.

Then my plans for moving fell through due to nothing more than a Still Small Voice whispering “not yet.”

Then another small voice rose up in my mind and asked me if being a nurse wasn’t too low of a goal for me, if I shouldn’t let go of an almost-sure thing to reach for a very uncertain but great thing like medical school.

At the same time, some family ghosts rose up from the past (and a few birthed from the present) to haunt the domestic side of life.

And then there have been a few sort-of potential relationships on the radar, including one or two that should really excite me but don’t, causing me to want to grab my heart and shake it, demanding “feel, you rebellious blighter; feeeeel!” But it doesn’t. It’s duecedly uncooperative, the heart. Desperately wicked; a warm, red, treasonous rebel.

I usually have answers. I’m good at watching, planning, managing, deciding, guarding, protecting, leading. Managing a family is work, and I’m a hard worker. I’m used to doing life’s homework and having the answers. (If only my academic grades were as competent.)

But the fact is, sometimes I don’t have the answers. That’s hard.

For whatever reasons, God tests me with uncertainty. He throws a few curveballs my way, and with oh such divine deftness. Maybe He’s teaching me more to trust. Having a purpose is vital in life, so questioning that purpose makes me rely on Him, not me.

It’s never easy not having answers. But when it all cascades down at once, it’s even harder.

If it’s just a test, I can/could content myself to fret and wait on God. But what if it’s me? What if I’m not a strong enough Christian to decipher God’s will? What if I need to change, what if I made a mistake unknowingly? For me, following God’s will doesn’t seem to prove too challenging…it’s knowing it that’s the problem.

So what do I do in these situations? I reach out for friends. I listen, and ask. I run things by them, bounce ideas off them. I should reach out for God, and I do. But even Christ needed friends, and like his, sometimes it seems there really are no friends that I have who understand or are here for me. Here again I miss your absence. I need an attaboy. I need arms to hold me, someone to say “no, I can tell you’re not okay, don’t lie to me. What’s wrong?” Someone to give me that “there there”, it’ll be okay, to remind me who I am rather than what I’m not. To say “I don’t have the answers either, but I have faith that we’ll find out. So do you. Trust God to work it out, and hang in there. I’m here for you.” To offer thoughts, hope, comfort, even trust of what decisions I’ll make.

Sometimes I wonder, what reason is good enough for the Lord to send me you? The one who inspires me? Where are you, what’s taking you so long, what do I have to do to earn it? As I continue to fail in my search for you, I wonder if my standards are too high, if my feelings are insatiable, or my expectations unreasonable. I worry I won’t end up with the person I wanted, or the life I wanted. I worry I won’t be happy. Is it wrong to want not just to be joyful but happy? Do I ask for too much to want my breath stolen away? To find an equal? Would it be okay for just once in this life to find what I’m really searching for? To find someone who arrests my attention, catches me by surprise, makes me say “whoa”? Can I not just sweep you off your feet, but have you sweep me just a little bit?

Where are the sages? Where are the wise and seasoned men and women, who identify and understand, who come along with their wisdom to uplift and strengthen, who will listen, who you can go to for answers or advice? I can’t find them anymore. At roughly 27 years of age, I’m the sage people look to…and ignore. Someone recently told me, with regards to my fights for what is right, “don’t embrace more darkness than you do light.” It was a good thought. But where is the light? Where are the people willing to be lights in this world — steeped in darkness, condemning brightness for burning the touch, banishing darkness and blinding the eyes.

Do you know what it is not to have the answers? To be confronted continuously by shortcomings…or incompatibilities with the shortcomings of others?

All in all, it has made for a very tumultuous several weeks. I don’t know if the decisions were to be left in my care, or if the results rested in my actions, or inactions. Do you believe the devil orchestrates attacks against the Lord’s own? Sometimes it’s direct and targeted; other times, I think it’s just malicious, meddling attacks to frustrate and throw us off of our game. The last several weeks seem to be the latter.

Yet for all of the tumult, I have the Still Small Voice of guidance, and the surety that God is in control. There are promises and truths to fall back on.

One of them is God’s purpose. God’s purpose is for me to give. To write, educate, inspire, motivate. He has goals for me, and they won’t be denied. In fact, I was lately struck by that fact when the young lady who had previously rejected me for reasons I misunderstood was brought back into my life, briefly, giving resolution to that momentary confusion. Our dinner gave me something to look forward to, an understanding of who someone else was, and a resolution to that unknown. I don’t recall asking the Lord to show me why, but He did. He orchestrated that for a reason.

The other is His plan. None of us are big enough to arrest His plan. So…although confusing, frustrating and bewildering, I suppose the lesson is that we don’t need to have all the answers?

So no…I don’t need to have the answers. But I do need you.

Yours,
Beren

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment