The Right to Love, Part III: Love Blooms (Part 2 of 2)
by Lauren Alan
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That was just what they did. They would spend a lot of time together in sit-ins, protests, and the marches. In their time alone together they'd spend their time reading from the Psalms, which were especially comforting in these trying times. The Psalms reminded them that God was always with them and was already fighting the battle against segregation for them. They recalled how David, who had written over seventy of the Psalms, had fought the giant Goliath with God's help and acknowledged that the battle belonged to the Lord and that because God was on David's side, David won.
"I know God is on our side, too," Charles told Angie as he held both her hands in his. "The white protesters who are for segregation have been attacking me and my friends for trying to abolish segregation in our protests, but we kept pressing on, our eyes on the prize. I know God is on our side, and I know we will win this fight. Until then, let's keep our relationship a secret so we won't create more tension."
Angie agreed that it was a good idea. She told Charles she'd be with him even if the tension between their two races escalated to a new level. Charles pulled her into an embrace and kissed her softly on the lips. "Baby, what would I do without you?" he whispered.
"Probably what I would do without you--shrivel up and die," Angie replied before they kissed again.
After the kiss, Charles immediately thought about what Angie had just said. She said she would shrivel up and die withouth him, and she assumed that he would also shrivel up and die without her. How right she was about that! After coming to know the kind of person Angie was by meeting with her several times, praying and doing Bible studies together, and talking about their faith and their common dream of seeing racial integration and equal rights, Charles knew he was in love with this beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman. There'd never be another woman he'd ever feel this way about. From what she had just told him, he could tell she loved him, too. Charles did not want to hesitate to tell her how he felt about her. "Angie," he said softly, "I love you."
Angie felt happiness and shock at the same time. She had never heard a man tell her he was in love with her and be sincere before. No one she'd ever gone out with before seemed to take her seriously, and the ones that did claim to be in love with her were just lusting after her and broke her heart the minute she told them that she did not want to have sex until she was married. Or they'd confuse love with loneliness and looking to satisfy their own need for a companion. Angie knew that true love did not seek to satisfy oneself--it sought after the best interests of another person. She could tell that Charles's love was true love because of the deep relationship with God that he had and his deep concern for winning the fight for rights for his people. And she felt the Lord telling her that this was the man He wanted her to spend the rest of her life with. Without hesitation, she said, "I love you, too, Charles."
They looked at each other for a moment. Suddenly Angie burst into tears, and she buried her face in Charles's shoulder.
"Angie, what is it?" Charles asked.
"You...you just told me you love me, and you meant it."
"Of course I do."
Angie wiped her eyes. "No man has ever told me he loved me and meant it before. I had some boyfriends in the past, but when they told me they loved me, all they wanted was either sex or companionship. They just wanted to satisfy themselves. When I told the ones who were pressuring me to have sex that I didn't want to have sex until I was married, they left me. You respect me, and I'm so happy that you truly love me that I'm crying tears of joy."
Charles hugged Angie again. "Angie Peterson, you're an incredible woman. Anyone who would treat you otherwise is a fool."
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