Previously on Keren’s true love…
Keren Aryee: Two weeks later, I opened the Bible and on the first page, in a beautiful handwriting, Kenneth has written:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)
I had learnt this in Sunday school. However, on this beautiful Saturday afternoon, the phrase “For God so loved the world…” made an impression on me.
“So God loves?” I asked myself. “Isn’t He just some mean old man up there ready to discipline me at the slightest mistake?” I sighed and laid my head on my pillow staring at the white ceiling above.
Then the unexpected happened…in a dream, I guess.
I saw Jesus in a shiny, slim fit, black suit with a bouquet of red roses. He had a broad smile and walked toward me. Even Jesus knew how to be romantic; hmmm, my Prince Charming in shiny suit. Kenneth should really be obedient and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Don’t you agree?
All of a sudden, the scene changed. Jesus Christ hung on the cross and was completely striped of His elegance. He had a laboured breath and He bled all over. It was just terrible. Who did this to my valentine?
I looked around for help but there was no one in sight. I had to do something and fast before He finally died from asphyxiation. I saw a ladder. I picked it up and propped it against the cross.
“No one should face such cruelty,” I reasoned.
In my desperate search for anything I could use to help my valentine, I found a crowbar lying beside a thicket about five meters away and rushed back with it but bumped into a big, burly man. He was dressed in rich ornamental clothes like a Roman elite. I stepped back and pointed the crowbar at the stranger threateningly. He held my shoulders and knelt before me. He pried the crowbar out of my hand saying,
“I can’t allow you to do this,”
“But something has to be done. This is just inhumane!” I screamed at the man who seemed not care. I pointed to the cross and tried to get him to look. Regardless of my efforts, He just wouldn’t look back.
“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” Jesus cried out. (Mark 15:34 ESV).
The whole place became silent except for Jesus’ occasional, heavy breath.
“You’re behind this, I suppose,” I spoke silently and gave Him a monstrous look. “I should advise myself.” I began to back away from the forlorn stranger. Mysteriously, He was as distressed and in pain as Jesus.
Instantly, the stranger shook all over and began to weep. I had never seen my father or any other man cry. I was taken aback.
With red eyes he said, “that is my gift for you my love and don’t worry, you haven’t finished unwrapping the gift. There is more.”
I became confused, “Who are you?”
“Obviously, the mean old man who happens to be watching your every move ready to discipline you.” He smiled amidst His tears without sarcasm in His voice. “That’s why my only son hangs there. He bears the brunt of the discipline.” There was a strain in His voice.
“Oh! I…I didn’t really…I…err…You’re God?”
He nodded and continued. This time he put one knee down and looked me straight in the eye, “listen, you’re the apple of my eye and I really want you to be with me and I with you, do you want the same too?”
Tears flowed down my cheeks as I fell into the stranger’s arms.
Behind us Jesus cried, “It is finished!” (John 19:30)
Two Saturdays after valentine, Keren rushed to my room with tears in her eyes and thanked me for showing her true love. I was totally lost but I was glad she chose my shoulder to cry on. While we were discussing her dream, she picked my pen and wrote on a piece of paper:
The excitement finally dies down.
The gnashing of teeth grinds to a halt.
The teddy bears have been propped up.
All that remains of the hamper is just cane.
However, there is still a need for love;
A yearning to feel loved,
A desire for more love.
But it all started because of love!
So why is there still the need for love?
Was it not enough?
Can one ever be satisfied?
Or it belongs to the fool’s paradise?
The sun sets on Valentine’s day
Only to rise the following day
To shed light on the emptiness within,
To reveal the vacuum that sucks all the love up.
He’s picking up the pieces of his shattered heart.
She’s wringing the pillow which soaked her tears.
And the couple sets out hopeful for a life of bliss.
Would love come through?
Meanwhile, the outline of the old rugged cross
Against the horizon, on that far away hill becomes clear
And reminds us of the true love that lasts forever;
Just for me, just for you.
I’ll never forget that evening.
Now, we’re married and on this day, 14th February, the Bible which once caused her disappointment sits before her reminding our family of God’s love, the one true love from which all men are to drink from and offer to their neighbours.
The only thing is I always cringe when she prays because she always begins her prayer by addressing God as, “My love…”
Featured image credit: Pexel
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