Saturday, February 13, 2010

When Love Came Calling


It was Valentine's Day. My husband had a rare day off, but I was not so fortunate. For two weeks my job had been grueling. An urgent project often found me putting in twelve-hour days. So when the florist delivered a grand arrangement of a dozen red roses shortly after noon, my mood lifted. I opened the envelope and drew out the card. Love always, Stan, it read.

How sweet, I thought, placing the large vase of flowers on my desk. The sight of the roses cheered me and filled me with anticipation for the evening. With our daughter visiting her grandparents, it would be just the two of us. Something that hadn't happened in a long while.

At 3:30, the phone rang. "Are you leaving at four?" Stan wanted to know.

"On the dot," I assured him.

"Good," he said. "I’ve got steaks on the grill."

The sun was softening as I drove home, one hand steadying the vase of flowers beside me. So lovely was their fragrance, I found myself relaxing. Just around the bend, a man who loved me waited.

As I drove in the garage, I glimpsed Stan out on the deck beside the smoking grill. He greeted me at the gate with a kiss. "Are you hungry?"

"Starving," I said, realizing I was. With an arm around my shoulders, he led me and the roses into the house where I couldn't believe my eyes.

The dining room—normally reserved for special occasions—resembled an intimate restaurant. Glass and silver dishes sparkled beneath the warm glow of two slender, red candles. Cloth napkins lay perfectly folded beside two china plates. On my plate lay an envelope that said, “To my sweetheart.” Somewhere I heard the soft strains of Jackie Gleason's orchestra.

"It's beautiful," I gasped, placing the roses in the center of the impressive table.

What followed was a luscious four-course meal, all prepared by the loving hands of my sweetheart. As the candles burned lower, I felt all of the day's tension melt away.

Dining with my husband, just being near him, hearing his voice, feeling his touch, tasting his food, filled me with a powerful longing and love for him, and at the same time, a profound knowledge of his love for me.

It wasn't a new feeling, but one often ignored because of the hectic schedules we both lived by. As the soft romantic music spilled into the little room, I knew I would remember this Valentine's Day forever.

Driving to work the next morning, I thought about the evening I'd just spent with my husband. And I sensed the Lord whisper, That's how I want it to be between us.

"What, Lord?" I asked, unsure what He meant. "A dozen roses? A table bathed in candlelight and spread with good food? Love notes? An evening of intimate conversation?"

Yes, He said. Every day I send you flowers, but you seldom notice. You have a book filled with my love letters, but weeks pass without you reading them. I prepare a table just for you and me. And I wait for you. Yet some days you never even speak to me.

A shiver ran up my spine as His words touched the secret places of my heart. I wanted to stop the car and weep. How foolish I had been, often dismissing the gentle wooing of God. In my busy world of deadlines and demands, how many times had I left Him dining alone like a jilted lover? Suddenly, on a busy toll road overflowing with commuters, I had an insatiable thirst for God, for a more intimate relationship with Him. Just the two of us. And I knew the choice was mine. Just as the choice is yours.

God has given us the freedom to decide how intimate our relationship with Him will be. We choose whether or not we will dine with Him. Like an anxious lover, He waits, hoping we desire to be with Him as much as He desires to be with us.


“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20, NIV)

Taken from the book, Whispers From Heaven (Pacific Press), by Dayle Allen Shockley.
All rights reserved.

Photograph, courtesy of Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch.



For more inspirational writings, visit Charlotte and Ginger at their wonderful blog, Spiritual Sundays.

19 comments:

  1. God has greatly gifted you
    I enjoyed visiting your blog
    God Bless;

    http://westbob.blogspot.com/2010/02/encourager-part-1.html

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  2. Love this! Thank you so much for sharing =)

    Lily

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  3. A favorite of mine, and always worth another read. Very true, and very moving. I ♥ U, sister.

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  4. Very nice post, Dayle. Hope you have a repeat of the day tomorrow! Sincerely, Susan from writingstraightfromtheheart.blogspot.com

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  5. WOW I love this...I was right there with you. And your soo right..How often do we put Him at the end of our day with whatever energy we have left? Have a wonderful Valentine's Day. Blessings, Debbie

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  6. I have been quilty of not seeing the flowers, reading the love letters, not sitting at His table and not listening to Him.
    Thank you for touching my heart and opening my eyes. I will answer His love call.

    Hearts & Hugs

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  7. What a moving post! May we all hear and see all HE has for us each and every day and not just that but that we would respond with a heart full of desire for HIM...the ONE and ONLY TRUE LOVE!

    Blessings

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  8. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you so much! Happy Valentine's Day.

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  9. Beautiful,powerful,touching post with a great message. Thank you for sharing.

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  10. Nice post. So glad to meet you! I came via Texas gals. Love you blog and I'm following!!!

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  11. Dayle this is absolutely beautiful! Have a Happy Valentine's day.

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  12. Wow, what a wonderful gift you have for writing. You are blessed to have such a loving caring thoughtful husband. I love the way God showed you His love was just as real, even more so. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  13. This touched my heart! Thank-you so much for sharing this with us. How we all need to let the Lord in our life everyday.
    God Bless you.
    Ginger

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  14. I am striving to write like you. Thank you for sharing!

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  15. This is a wonderful truth , God does desire us !
    Happy Valentine's Day!
    Blessings,
    ~Myrna
    ps You are a wonderful storyteller!

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  16. Dayle,
    You are a wonderful writer and storyteller and I was drawn into the love you and your husband have for each other and the love that God has for each of us if we would only open our eyes and ears. Thank you for showing us how foolish we are not to heed His wish for us.


    Blessings,
    Jean

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle