A Prelude to Silence

Though I am posting A Prelude to Silence in November of 2018, it was initially written in June of 2015, before college. This has sat as an unspoken (ironically speaking) third part to the Novelette, and after rediscovering it, I figure… “Eh, why not?”

As a further note, after three and a half years of life events and God working His unfathomable plan, I will say that there are certain views about future spouse stuff and guy-girl relationships that have changed in my mind, but I am thankful that the heart of what this Novellete speaks of remains unchanged. The characters as well retain their shimmer and connection to my heart and dreams.

Take from this what you will, as will I.

The theater was silent, and rows upon rows of empty seats faced a pair of closed curtains on the stage. Meanwhile, a peculiar draft swayed the curtains ever so slightly, creating somewhat of a haunting presence. It was completely dark in the theater, until, at the sound of a click, followed by a faint reeling sound, streams of light began to escape from between the two curtains as they retreated to opposite sides of the theater, revealing a black, empty stage lit up by the many lights above.

After this ghost-like commotion had come to a conclusion, two pairs of footsteps could be heard coming from the backstage. These reverberating footsteps grew louder and louder until a young man and young woman appeared from the shadows. They slowly strolled across the illuminated stage, coming to a  stop at the front, and with an aura of nervous reflection, faced the empty seats. The air was still, yet perfumed with the aroma of confusion, and both had many things to say, yet were at a loss for words.

“I-..” started young man, letting out a quavering exhale, “I wanted to say goodbye.” He lowered his head, knowing that this was the right thing to do, and the young woman, taking a discreet glance to her left, linked her fingers together in shyness. A moment or two passed while she tried to collect her thoughts, and though she already knew the answer to the following question, she asked, “This won’t happen again?” “No,” he replied, shaking his bowed head. He paused to inhale a shallow breath, knowing the Divine Providence of such an occasion. “It wasn’t for me to decide.” The young woman lowered her gaze, pursing her lips. With a solemn composure of gracefulness, he looked up and to his right, gently smiled, and softly spoke the words, “Thank you.” The young woman turned to her left and smiled back.

The look in his eyes seemed to hold a thousand words, yet he had sufficed to say an unspoken farewell. And so with a humble nod, she turned towards the backstage and began walking to the exit door. However, with every step that she took, the distances in between grew smaller and smaller. She could tell that there was so much he wanted to say, but didn’t say anything; as though he had a grand explanation, but took up the sacrifice of keeping silent.

Sluggishly approaching the outskirts of the backstage, she came to a halt, internally crumbling under such ambiguity. In a most disoriented manner, she quickly turned around to speak, but before a single word could leave her mouth, a cold wave of anguish overwhelmed her. The stage was completely bare, and all that was to be seen in the distance were the silhouettes of empty seats. Yet at the exact spot where he had never stood, there laid an envelope with her name on it. For a brief moment she paused, staring at it with uncertainty, but none the less, she walked towards the front of the stage and gently picked it up. She opened it with delicate fingers, tenderly pulling out the piece of paper, and carefully unfolding it. It read a few, simple words, but they warmed her heart with encouragement, and they said all that needed to be said.

Beneath those few words, however, whether she noticed it or not, there was a subtle undertone. And within such a hidden concept, there was a certain principle to be realized, which is this: just as music does not always consist of sound, but the absence thereof, so does a play on stage. Just because no one is speaking or revealing their identity, does not mean the actors have missed their cues. It does not mean the Director made a mistake, nor does it mean the plot-line has become stagnant.

And although she stands alone in a vacant theater, it does not mean that the play has not already begun. For even though the audience has yet to arrive, the Director has been busy at work, preparing and producing a masterpiece that will echo through time, whether in the world’s knowledge or simply a humble family’s legacy, but certainly in the faith-full archives of heaven. For now, however, He only asks that His two main characters (aside from the Lead Role) seek Him with all that they are, and focus on the scene at hand.

Even so, the paths have been crossed, but not yet intertwined. The costumes have been sown, but not yet worn. The set has been built, but not yet placed. The lines have been scripted, but not yet said. The blocking has been directed, but not yet done. And the cast has been chosen, but not yet realized.

As for her, she only need enjoy the show,
Because God’s plans will move mountains.
The following scenes are of seeking the Lord,

And as for the young man, well…
Silence can speak louder than words.

Quiescence

The night sky was crystal clear, unfolding rows upon rows of glistening stars. This picturesque view was pleasantly reflected by a quiet still lake surrounded by trees. However, a short distance out from where the trees ended, an old dock extended into the midst of the water, braving the cold chill that carried the breeze along.

As the chorus of crickets harmonized with the wind above the water, two pairs of footsteps could be heard in the distance. The crinkling of leaves soon turned into the creaking of wood as a young man and young woman gradually walked towards the end of the old dock.

The young man took a deep breath as a shy smile shivered its way into forming the words, “It’s beautiful.” An innocent laughed escaped the young woman, “Yes, it is.” The young man glanced to his right, observing her eyes. She, noticing his glance, looked back and observed his puzzled gaze. “I don’t understand,” he remarked. She hesitated, but soon after responded, “I wanted to say hello.” He, after hearing this, slowly looked up to the stars and nodded, only to look back to the still lake canvassing the distance. A murmur escaped him, hesitantly asking, “Will this happen again?” “That’s not for me to decide,” she said, as he let out a deep breath, replying, “Of course.”

Silence replaced their words for quite some time, accompanied by the ever-so-diligent crickets. However, the moments remained frozen, for just as the scenery leaned in to hear their words, the crickets knew very well that they were merely but an accompaniment for the arrangement to follow.

It was only a matter of time before the young man, once again, broke the silence. “I’m sorry. I-… I’ve been looking for you for so long, and,” he took a deep breath. “I…- I just… I can’t seem to find you.” Her response contrasted his worry, as she softly said, “I understand.” This provoked a smile from the young man, releasing some present tension.

In a casual manner, the young woman turned to her left and asked, “Do you trust God?” The young man, taken back by this question, turned to her very calmly. “I do.” “Then why do you search for me?” she asked. The young man turned his head to the trees, pondering the implications and meanings behind her question. A guilty sigh escaped his breath. “Because everyone else is.” She shook her head. “That’s not trusting God, that’s self-gratification.” Acknowledging this rebuke, he said, “I know.”

Knowing that her point was made, she turned back to face the lake, as did he. A grand smile crossed the young woman’s face as she looked to the stars. “They’re so beautiful, and God made them all. He designed the finest detail of the furthest star, and He did it all to showcase His power and glory.” The young man smiled and nodded. “It’s unfathomable.” She continued by saying, “And just think, as beautiful as the universe is, Christ’s love is even more beautiful.” She paused to look at him and slowly asked, “so then, why would you not trust Him to bring me to you?”

The young man’s gaze fell from the stars to the water below the old dock. His voice quavered in saying, “I’m always mistaking others for who you could be. Some days, I walk into the store, and it’s like I see your eyes. Other days, I hear a voice, so I turn around, but it’s someone else. The worst is when I pursue someone who I think could be you, only to have a foundation crumble beneath her and me, leaving us to go our separate ways.” “And why do you pursue them?” He hesitated because he knew the final reason for his response, “I long for a love story like everyone else… I mean, who doesn’t like a good ‘high-school sweetheart’ story? Who doesn’t like a story that grew and grew beneath all the scenes, only to reappear as something more than what it was?”

“You long for a beginning that starts with you,” she responded. He nodded and added, “I know.”

It was once again silent for some time as the both of them stood in awe of the stars and surrounding water. It was clear to each of them that the other was deep in thought. Meanwhile, an ever so slight smile crossed her face as she quietly asked, “Are you willing for me not to be?” The young man’s eyes widened at the thought. “What do you mean?” The tone of her smile crossed over into her eyes which turned to look at him. She paused and then gently asked, “Are you willing to never marry me? Are you willing to give me up only to pursue your King in all His fullness; to hand me over to Christ and let Him make all the decisions?” A chill ran up the young man’s spine like a train, only to crash into his heart and explode.

This explosion ignited a flame of indignation, which caused him to turn around and begin walking away. In a panic, she turned around, reaching out to him, pleading, “No, don’t go!” These words reverberated across the whole lake, reflecting off of the trees, causing every insect to fall under an enormous hush. It was as though even the stars were leaning in to watch what was to happen next. Those words hung mid-air, stopping the young man in his steps. “Please…” she said in a tearful voice, “don’t leave me…” He slowly turned around to see her gentle eyes watering with tears. The tears in her eyes reminded him of who he was to be for her: her protector, her adorer, her knight in shining armor, her friend that had promised to never leave her, in sickness or health. Realizing his pride, he walked back to her side with the words, “forgive me.”

A smile returned as she wiped her tears and said, “I do.

“But oh, you have to understand. When I am held to a higher standard than your pursuit of God, when you are not fully surrendered to Him ‘for my sake’, you’ve failed me.” The young man trembled as he could feel his walls of pride crumbling to the ground. “I am not asking you to run in the opposite direction. I am asking you to seek the Lord. Please, you cannot seek me and the Lord at the same time.” He slowly nodded, but then she continued to ask once more, “Are you willing to seek the Lord and give up all possibility that He will ever place me at your side, meanwhile, joyfully following in His perfect will?!” Tears began to fall from his eyes as he gazed up at the stars. They were so beautiful, and he could not help but think of Christ’s love of being even more beautiful. Oh, the joy of loving and serving a God who has such an infinitely greater love.

Knowing full well what saying the next few words would mean for his future, he wiped the tears from his eyes and said, “I am.”

The young woman let out a sigh of relief in response, followed by a question. “That being the case, with regards to me, will you do something?” The young man looked at her and said, “Anything.” She smiled and replied, “Then please, do nothing.” A confused look crossed the young man’s face. “Nothing?” “Nothing,” she said. “If God is to bring us together, let Him bring us together.” The young man crossed his arms and tilted his head, longing for an even further explanation.

“Psalms 27:13-14 says, ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’

“Psalms 33:20-22 says, ‘Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’

“Psalms 37:3-5 says, ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’

“Proverbs 3:5-6 says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.'”

The young man smiled at the young woman standing beside him. “Thank you. I’ll remember those.” She smiled back saying, “Good.” she paused to formulate what to say next. “Don’t wait on me, because if you wait on Who you’re supposed to, then as far as I go, someday, you might not have to.” He gave a firm nod, acknowledging her words. His eyes returned to the night sky, scanning the stars.

“It’s out of my hands, but should you, one day, be at my side, until then…”

His gaze toward the stars turned to his right, however, he saw nothing but trees lining the lake shore. Never before so appalled, he turned around in dismay, fixing his gaze upon the old dock. It was then that he noticed a layer of dust that spread across the deteriorated wood; only one pair of footprints was visible.

“Until then, I will seek His face,
And He will show me who you are in due time.”

Exert force here to read on – the novelette continues…

Our Wedding Day

Ring

Dear my lovely future wife,

Our wedding day will be beautiful. Whether it’s raining, snowing, sleeting, cloudy, or sunny, it will be beautiful. But all appearances aside, that day will represent the most horrific (yet most glorious) moment in history.

The day of our marriage will represent the day of Christ’s marriage to the Church.

In trudging up Calvary, He walked up the aisle. In spilling His blood, He signed the legal documents. In shouting, “It is finished!” He sealed His vows. In giving up His spirit, it was as if He gave His first marital kiss to His beloved bride.

That was the day selflessness was carried out like never before. And that day will be our day.

In marrying you, I will be signing my death warrant. Vice versa, in marrying me, you will be signing your death warrant. Because just as Jesus Christ died for the Church, and the Church is meant to die for Christ, I will be vowing to die for you, and you will be vowing to die for me. Such a commitment is the only way that our marriage might truly bring about the greatness that God has always intended for marriage.

When we walk down the aisle hand in hand, it will be as if Christ was taken down from the cross and carried to His grave.

But never forget my dear, it was only then that His marriage began,

And the grave could not say otherwise.

Love, your loving future husband.

My Valentine’s Case

I wrote this poem with the intentions of having someone duck-tape it to my locker on Valentine’s Day for my whole high-school to read. I was in South Carolina on Valentines Day so I couldn’t do it myself, but apparently, it never got duck-taped to my locker. Hence-fourth, it might as well be read by someone:

I know I’m gone this lovely day, (South Carolina!!! Woo!!!)
So I guess you can’t laugh in my face,
But please don’t let my absence stop
Me from stating my Valentine’s case.

I might not have a heart to hold,
As might a fair number of you all,
But I know that in this lonely state,
My God has a higher call.

Somewhere out there shines a gem
That shines brighter than the sun,
And even though I don’t know her yet,
My love has long begun.

She is my lovely future wife,
Even though I don’t know her name,
But my God calls me to love her now,
Just as Christ did when He came.

So honestly and transparently,
As crazy as it might sound,
On this lovely Valentines Day,
My wife’s heart has already been found.