It was perhaps the most charming marriage proposal I ever received.
My patient was a long, lean, blond 19-year-old soldier. He reclined, cranked into a sitting position in an old orthopedic bed. He spoke with a Southern drawl through clenched teeth, because his jaw, being fractured, was wired shut.
On a bright, sunny morning, as I worked at the nursesí station, near the center of the open x-shaped ward, he spoke up. "Maíam, I think you and I should get married." Just like that, outloud, in front of God and everybody else!
"Yes, Maíam," and he went on to describe what a good husband heíd be. "Why, Iíll even build you a great big house."
"Oh, I donít need a big house," I said. "All Iíve ever wanted is a little log cabin."
"Well, then, Iíll build you the best little log cabin you ever saw!"
"You donít really want to marry me," I continued in my efforts to discourage him. "Why, Iím practically old enough to be your mother!"
That really wasnít true, but I did often feel like a mother to all my soldier patients, since they were the ages of my younger brothers. But, my suitor didnít discourage easily.
"Well, Maíam, age doesnít make any difference if two people love each other."
I admitted that was true, as our un-private conversation continued, entertaining everyone within earshot. Come to think of it, I never did give him a definite "No!" I treated the proposal as if he were just having fun, passing the time with a safe target! What a shame that I donít remember his name or his face! It would be fun to thank him for a sweet bright memory from the combat zone. But, he shipped out soon after, and God only knows what happened to the rest of his life.
In the course of a lifetime, a person has the opportunity to entertain many proposals. Some might be offers of marriage. Others include job prospects, or a scholarship for a particular school. These often come at crossroads times in our life. The choice we make affects everything down the road. We hope we have chosen the better option. Or, we live with our choices, wondering about the road not taken. What would my life be like, if...?
Growing up in a Christian home, in the church, we recognize early-on that we have been presented with a proposal that requires a response on our part. In effect, God has offered us a Valentine that reads "Be Mine!" in the form of Christ Jesus. We can ignore His proposal, or treat it as unimportant. We can decline it, or put it on the back burner for later. But, whether we accept the proposal, or fail to take it to heart, we have made a choice. It is a choice with consequences beyond this world.
"...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:19-20)
---Edy T. Johnson---
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