Let me tell you a story.
You see, once upon a time, there was this guy. He met this girl and as you would have it, they started out as friends. Dates become more frequent. They loved spending time with each other… they felt so right with each other. They even came to realize that they were made for each other – a match made in heaven. Romance blossomed, and eventually, the both of them fell in love with each other.
They loved each other deeply. They showered each other with gifts, as well as affection. The guy loved this girl so much, that he gave up many good things for her. You see, sometimes girls can do that to guys.
They came to the point in their relationship where they started talking seriously about marriage. They had their lives planned out… they were going to get married. It even got to the point where they started talking about the details of the marriage. Well, you know how soppy lovebirds can be – sickeningly saccharine, much to the detriment of the appetites of their friends.
However, one day, while the two lovebirds were apart… another Beautiful Stranger stepped in. The Stranger came to the girl and spent time with her. He showed her new things, exciting things! Soon, the girl realized that she really liked these new things that she has discovered with the Stranger. Eventually, she came to discover that she liked spending time with the Stranger more than her First Love. Before she new it, feelings developed for the Stranger.
She was torn between her two loves. She realized how much she had shared with her First Love – how much they had committed to each other. But the newfound joys that she had discovered with the Stranger was intoxicating… liberating, even! She was not willing to let these new found joys go.
So she gave up her First Love and went with the Stranger.
Her First Love was left in the lurch. It was a deep blow to him… something he did not see coming, nor could he really do anything about it. He wept and pined for her. His heart ached for her. His mind was reeling and his emotions were like a roller coaster ride…
There were times when he tried to be strong about things – to bravely say that “True love must come with freedom”. He tried to courageously let her go – loving her enough to set her free. He even tried to go about his business – to carry on with life. But it was difficult. He still loved her. Deeply.
There were times when his emotions were like a slippery slope. There were days where it seemed that the sun shined less brightly, the birds sang less sweetly and that there was nothing but a grey cloud over his head. He got a little depressed and tried to distract himself. He pined into the emptiness, wondering when and if his lost Love would ever return to him. And he wept. Because He still loved her. Deeply.
Still, there were also times when he felt hurt, angry and betrayed… He ranted and raged. He even declared that she “owed him” at least an opportunity to work things out – for all the commitment that has been shared. For all the words that have been said. For all the gifts that have been showered. But the intensity of his feelings betrayed the depths of his love for her. He still loved her. Deeply.
Yet she remained unmoved. She might even have been a little stubborn. She expected her First Love to move on and ‘just be friends’. It would seem that she had forgotten all the goodness of her time and relationship with her First Love. She had given her heart to another – and the Beautiful Stranger was so… well, beautiful.
She was determined to go on with this new Stranger. The more she was warned not to, the more she rebelled. She insisted on her own way, to pursue her freedom to the fullest. The messengers that spoke on behalf of her First Love were ignored, and eventually shot down. She even started justifying her actions, saying that the Beautiful Stranger was more worthy of her love than her First Love.
But somehow, her First Love still loved her. He still longed for her. He still wanted her back. So what is he to do?
We might look at him and scoff, saying, “Let her go! She’s not worth it!” We might even tell him to move on with life… that “If she wants you back, she will have to win you again” or “Face the reality! She’s dumped you for someone else!” Sometimes, with good intentions, we might even add, “Don’t worry. There are many other fish in the sea. I bet there might even be better ones!” If he keeps on pining away, we might even pity him – “You’re pathetic! Get over it, you love-sick fool!”
But if you look into the eyes of the First Love, you will see a forlorn look. He still loved her. He had chosen her. He had committed himself to her – to care for her, to love her. He was going to make her his bride. How can he just let go? How do you tell someone to do that – especially when he still loved her… deeply?
It’s a true story. How do I know? Well, I am sure this story is familiar to some of you who are reading this. Perhaps you have lived through something like this. Or you might even know several people who have been through an experience like this. The names and the faces change, but the story remains the same.
But I know one Person who has had to endure this for many, many years. He has waited longer than any love-sick fool could have waited. His bride is still waywardly giving her heart to Beautiful Strangers. She is still being torn in two directions – to her First Love, but also to the Beautiful Strangers that come her way. Sometimes she stands by her First Love. At other times, she runs with Strangers. Sometimes still, she runs back to her First Love only to leave him for the next Beautiful Stranger that comes her way.
But yet He loves. He loves like a love-sick fool. He loves with a love that will not let go. In fact, He loved His Bride so much; He did what would seem to be absolutely foolish. He laid down His life for her. He offered it as a sacrifice to show His love just how much He loved her. He’s going to love her even until it hurts.
But, His love story is not concluded yet.
He still loves his Bride and is still waiting for her to come back so that they can finally be wed. He’s still waiting for the day when she will appear before Him, radiant and beautiful, through all the hurt and pain, ready to spend the rest of their days together. He’s waiting for that coming Day, where they can finally begin to live happily ever after… together.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready… I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be his people, and God Himself with be with them and be their God.”
Revelation 19:7; 21:2-3, New International Version
Copyright © 20 December 2002, Wong Giok Leigh. All Rights Reserved.