She thinks to herself should she pack up her things and leave this time. She is tired and defeat has slowly become her friend. She struggles to pull up her long stockings and roll down her sleeves to her thin blouse that lay nestled close upon her soft freckled skin. She silently remembers the comforting words of what her best friend, her confidant, her father speaks to her:
And the LORD said to me "For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (2 Cor. 11:2)
She grabs a sweater to protect her arms against the uninviting coolness that suddenly makes known its presence in her bedroom. She reaches to turn down the bright light and the sound of the TV.
She longingly walks towards the front door, eyes fixed upon the darkness of a once more lonely night. She stares with weary eyes, through the solid glass of the oak door. She opens the door, placing one foot after the other onto the huge front porch. The squeaking sound of the old wooden swing aids in holding her, against the wind. A song is forming in her head that dances about the trees branches as their leaves are swaying back and forth. There’s a tune to the music, set by the wind, as the trees bend and fold. It is the wind governed by her faith, that serenades her with its smooth and then, sharp whistles.
Trickles of rain drops settle upon her face and rest about her pores, as she looks up at the dark and cloudy sky. She prays God’s face upon her and welcomes what is destined to be. The night is cool and her heart is heavy. She searches, feeling the tiny pains in her heart, but she knows the word and she is determined to live by it and trust in God to deliver her through her darkest storm.
Submitting to one another in the fear of God. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and he is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or nay such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones." (Ephesians 5:21-33)
She thinks of the many nights and sometimes days, that she is left alone. Call it woman’s intuition but she feels an intruder in their midst. Who is this other woman? What does she look like? How old is she? What does she possess that keeps the man she loves absent from her side? How does this woman feel to the man she loves? What does this woman want? Will he be strong enough to overcome her warmth and vitality? Will he come home?
She wonders what God thinks of her situation and how and when he will answer her prayers. She also remembers God’s words spoken:
Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children Of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans." So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley. And I said to her. “You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.” For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3)
She doesn’t feel him, but only a longing for the way things used to be. He is like an eagle, flying through the still of the night, evading each rain drop as it expounds from the sky. The more his wings soars the more her heart aches with the longing and the questions of where he is. Surely, she’d have to endure another night of his repertoire of stories.
She wonders of her love for him. She has so much love for him and he returns her love with his absence of mind and now body. She turns to face the partial split door and takes a few steps towards the bedroom. She turns to look behind herself once more, out beyond the stars that light up the sky with all of her desires of love and devotion once shared between them. She does not see him coming, but only the massive darkness of an old brooding sky. She suddenly ponders, remembering his laughter and his touch and yet she trembles at the thought of leaving him. She hesitates as she closes the door.
She enters the bedroom and there, she continues to pack, yet, another bag. Her heart is breaking. She is lonely and frightened, as she stares out of the window, inviting the beauty of the stars to comfort her. She wonders if he is coming home tonight or will he stay, yet, another night as he has done so many nights before.
Suddenly, she thinks of what she is going to say, before she walks out of, over twenty five years of marriage. Her memories of a happy life with him are suddenly viewed liked sand through an hour glass. She misses the times when they’d sit talking for hours and drinking cappuccinos. She misses his touch, his hugs and his gentle kisses upon her now wrinkled skin. She misses the way he’d stare into her eyes and tell her how much he loved her. She wonders if he is doing that with her, the intruder that seems to come to life, in her head. She looks at herself through the glass of the door and sighs at the grey in her hair and the weight she has gained.
Suddenly she hears his footsteps on the front porch, nearing the door-way. She can hear the promising sounds of his keys as he enters and opens the front door. She hurriedly unpacks her bags and places them neatly into the closet. She wears a faint smile upon her lips, as she wipes her eyes dry. Her courage has failed her, yet another time. She bites down upon her bottom lip in anticipation of his presence. She is anxious, as she has been so many times before, to welcome him into her loving arms. She is smiling as she greets him with open arms for he is home and she has suddenly forgotten all thoughts of leaving.
And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Allelula! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write; “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:6-9)
She smiles in the arms covered by the man she loves and listens to the words of her Heavenly father speak:
"Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised." (Song 8:6, 7)
* Biblical verses taken from the King James Version of the Bible.