Discovering the true meaning of love — and of life.
by Susan J. Decuir
The first time I saw him, he wandered into the sales department where I worked as a secretary. Who is this cute guy? I wondered. His rumpled shirt and disheveled hair gave off a devil-may-care attitude, though his smile was friendly and genuine. Obviously not married, I discerned, or that shirt would be ironed. I sensed a curious attraction to this handsome mystery man a divine meeting, almost as if I knew him.
Turned out that Ron was the new sales engineer with the unusual last name I miserably butchered the first time I paged him.
Lost and lonely
Ron was friendly to everyone, easy to talk to and a good listener. He stopped by my desk often to visit. We felt comfortable with each other, discussing our broken and current relationships and our views on religion. One day Ron loaned me several of his New Age and esoteric books. They went right over my head, leaving me more confused about life than before. I decided to stick with My Mother My Self and Life After Death books.
At the time, I was unhappily engaged to an older man; Ron was engaged for the third or fourth time. We were two lost, lonely divorced people looking for something anything to give life meaning. Ron once told me, “If I could find a cave, I would move in and live a simple life of solitude.”
We never dated each other the year we worked together, unless you count the time we danced at the company holiday party. He had rhythm in his feet and music in his soul, adding to my fascination with him.
Back to the Bible
Then I was laid off and lost contact with Ron. Six months later, the divine appointment I had sensed the first time I saw him began to unravel.
After breaking my engagement, still bitterly unhappy with my life, I thought of Ron and our deep spiritual conversations. I’ll read the Bible, I determined, searching every drawer until I found my childhood Bible with my maiden name engraved in gold letters on front. Through tears, I realized the love my parents had put into that gift I’d hidden away for too many years.
Impulsively, or moved upon by an unknown force, I looked up Ron’s phone number and called. After I told him that I’d been reading the Bible, he shared, “I’ve been reading the Bible, too, ever since I broke off my last engagement.”
“Sorry,” I empathized. “I’m not getting married either. Anyway, I was wondering. . . . Well, I have this aunt who keeps bugging me about visiting a church, and I thought maybe you’d like to go with me.” He did. And he seemed different kind of peaceful.
I parked my VW beetle in front of my apartment after work the next day, dreading the thought of another long, lonely, boring night of television. But there he was, sitting on the steps, waiting for me. My face lit up or did I blush? “Come on in and I’ll make dinner,” I offered.
After a simple meal, we went to the living room and sat crossed-legged on the floor. I noticed he had his Bible.
Ron ruffled the gold-edged pages of that colossal Book that had been a mystery to me for thirty-two years. Then he said, “Would you like to study the Gospels?”
“What are the Gospels?” I sheepishly asked, feeling stupid.
“Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”
I listened as Ron read, desperately needing something to ease the pain, the guilt, the sin. He turned to the exact page in the Bible with an answer to my never-ending questions. I didn’t know anyone could do that.
Ron lovingly helped me see my sin, listed in the Bible. Yet I wasn’t offended; I wanted peace. Every night for two weeks Ron came over until the truth of the good news of salvation through Jesus pierced my heart.
Power in prayer
One night Ron asked, “You know how when you pray, you pray in Jesus’ name?”
“You do? Why?”
“Jesus said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. . . . And I will do whatever you ask in my name . . .’” (John 14:6, 13).
That night when I went to bed, I prayed I don’t remember what. But I remember saying, “God, I don’t understand this, but in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.” There was power in that prayer. Something inside me changed.
The next day Ron read Matthew 6:14, 15: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
I knew I could no longer blame others for my messed-up life; I needed forgiveness. God led me to call my ex-husband to ask his forgiveness and to forgive him. I felt so free afterward.
I confessed my sins to the Lord, as 1 John 1:9 teaches: “If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I also asked God for forgiveness.
The trees became greener, the sky brighter and bluer, as though I’d put on new glasses only better. I felt lighter, cleaner, more peaceful. I wasn’t sure what was happening to me. Though I heard Ron talking to me during our study times, I was in another dimension where God and Jesus live. A heavenly realm.
That day I was born again, forever changed through God’s love and forgiveness. I was translated out of the kingdom of darkness into God’s glorious kingdom of light, as it says in Colossians 1:13.
Now I understood the change in Ron. He too had been changed by the power of Jesus.
Ron must have decided I was worth keeping. A few days later, he proposed. Three weeks later, on a beautiful November morning, we were married.
Ron whisked me away on his motorcycle. I wrapped my arms tightly around his waist, delighting in the bald spot among all that disheveled hair, loving him and thanking God for him. I was certain he was taking me to his secret, cozy cave.
Our sweet baby girl was born one year later and stole her daddy’s heart. His big hands were too awkward for tiny buttons and snaps he even put her diaper on backward once. But when he lovingly wrapped her in a blanket, took her outdoors, and laid her on the cool autumn ground, he was in his element. “God made this oak tree, the grass, and flowers,” he explained to our daughter, as though she could understand. And I think she did.
If she didn’t understand, I know I do. God didn’t just make trees and grass and flowers; He took two sinful, searching people and made them new creations, and He helped them find each other in the process. That’s the best antidote for loneliness I know.
Scripture quotations were taken from the New International Version.
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