He stood unable to move by the picture window; watching her car back slowly out of the driveway. He saw her glance back one final time at what once had been and then the car moved quickly done the street and out of sight. Still he didn’t move. He had just watched his life drive away and now he had no idea what to do.
There had been no shouting, no angry words; just a quiet good-bye, some stinging tears and now an emptiness he knew would never be filled. He sank into the nearest chair, put his head in his hands and let the sadness take him. He had never cried in front of her before; but now that she was gone the tears flowed freely and uncontrollably. He had no one to blame but himself. She had begged him for entrance into his life for years. She had given all she had and wanted nothing in return but the invitation to share that life; but the door never opened and the invitation never came. Now she was gone.
What a fool he was. Why couldn’t he let her in? He loved her. Why couldn’t he show it? There was no answer worth offering, no defense worth mounting, and no rational explanation worthy of his investment. He had allowed the pain of the past to poison his present. And now it had destroyed his future. He had refused a mercy gentle enough to soothe and strong enough to heal. He had slapped away a touch soft enough to caress his tough skin and skilled enough to penetrate his cold heart. He had ignored the words that spoke of the hope of tomorrow and rejected the love that could have led him there. Now there was only his unwanted but constant companions; silence, pain, and regret.
He stood and with the gait of a broken man walked slowly into the bedroom. That’s when he saw it. She never went anywhere without it, yet there it lay; her Bible. It was perched gently against his pillow. He sat on the bed and picked it up with a reverence that surprised him, opened it to the page she had marked with its ribbon, removed the folded note between its pages, and began to read the verses she had highlighted for him from some book called Ephesians:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. Eph 5:25-28
Then he opened the note and read, “When you are ready; I’ll be waiting.” Did she mean it? Was she really giving him a second chance? A hope began to grow where nothing of any substance had ever grown before. And in that hope he began to flip through the pages of her treasured book. Suddenly, he was surprised to see his name on one of the books. Curious, he turned to the first page and began to read: “In the beginning was the Word…” As he continued reading, he allowed the words to wash over him and through him; looking up only once, when he could have sworn he heard someone softly laughing.