Thursday, February 17, 2005

Love stories  

Most of the time on this blog, I write about me, my marriage, and marriage in general. Sometimes I turn writing duties over to a guest, and sometimes I publish an e-mail I've received. Some of my favorite communications with readers has been the love stories they've shared. I haven't received any love stories in quite a while, so today I just want to call attention to them. Here are a few:

Bill, aka Theognome (who recently resumed blogging after an extended hiatus), shared his love story in the comment section of a post. I'm reprinting it here so that it's all in one place and not broken up over 12 separate comments, and to maybe inspire others to write down their love story and send it in. I love stories like this.

As much as I'd enjoy making the kind of comparison that you have, It would be quite far from the truth. Here's how I came to know the Lord:

I was taught from my youth that Christians were stupid, hypocritical, gullible and ignorant. When I was living in Tucson (a few years before I met Toni) I finally got tired of these idiotic Christians all trying to ‘witness' to me. None of them said the same things about God, and it seemed to me that the whole lot of them were just lemmings. So, I decided I'd beat them at their own game. I'd steal me a Bible (I sure wouldn't pay good money for one), read it, and then when they came at me with their nonsense babble I could slaughter them with the very the book they claimed to believe but probably never read.

I went to a local hotel first and grabbed a Gideon bible, but the fool thing was written in the king's English, and I didn't want to muddle through all of the Elizabethan garble. So, I went to a bookstore and found a translation that was in modern English called a NIV. I wrote a check for it on a bank account that didn't exist and then took it home and read it, every word, cover to cover, twice.

After that, I had to wonder. What I had been told about God and what was in this book here didn't agree. Just what were all of these churches out there doing? Didn't they use the thing? So, I went on a mission. I decided to see if there were any churches in my city that actually taught the stuff that was in there.

Mind you, I read the Bible as if it were any other book- that what it contained was exactly what it meant to portray, nothing more or less. At this point, I was not a believer. Worse, I was a heathen that knew what was in the Bible. I was the worst nightmare to the Churches of Tucson, AZ.

And it showed. When I went into a goofy church, I would tell them just how goofy they were according to this here Bible that they, as Christian idiots, were supposed to follow. And I would tell them these things very loudly right in the middle of their services. I was forcibly ejected from five churches for such outbursts, and barred from even entering two of them that I had not gone to before. I guess that the word had gotten around.

Finally, I went to a big Southern Baptist church, and which, unknown to me, was in theological flux i.e. going reformed. I sat down in the front row one Sunday (I always went to the front) and, Bible in hand, waited for the fool preacher to say something stupid. He didn't. Through the entire service, I couldn't find one thing said that was not in agreement to the Bible. So, after the service, I went up to the preacher and said, “Listen a**hole, I couldn't find anything you said that wasn't in here (holding up my stolen Bible), but I'm after you now. I'm gonna be here every Sunday until you screw up, and then I'll know that your version of Christianity is just as lame as everyone else's.” He replied, “Well, we have a Bible study on Wednesdays, why don't you come to those, too?”

So I did. For two months, I never missed a service or a study. I argued, cursed, accused… oh, I was hell on Scripture. I just knew that there was no way a church could actually be faithful to the Bible. After all, no one else was, they were all just a bunch of idiots. Finally, one of the pastors (there were two) gave a sermon concerning Paul on the road to Damascus. It hit me like a ton of bricks. That was I—full of the knowledge of the Lord, and yet fighting tooth and nail against Him. I was undone that day… and made anew.

So, that's how I came to know the Lord. How I came to know the Purdiest is a whole different tale…

Like most salesmen, I went through my Amway stage. I was living in Tucson, AZ in March of '98 and was told by my upline that I needed to attend a seminar in Irvine, CA. I had a few folks in my group, and so I and my friend T.J. drove the nine or so hours from Tucson to Irvine to attend. I had broken up with a girlfriend a few months prior, and had decided that I was destined to be a single guy whether I liked or not.

We arrived at the Irvine Marriot Hotel Friday morning, and began to attend the festivities. The meetings lasted all weekend. On Saturday, during lunch break, I saw that they had forgotten to lock their piano in the lobby. Now I am quite addicted to pianos, so I sat down and began to play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. I played the first movement, which most folks are familiar with, and then played the second movement.

Now the third movement was beyond my skill, and it still is. So I looked about before I began to play something else, and I saw this knockout gorgeous woman standing behind me, listening to me play. So I said, “Hi there.” We chatted about music for a bit, and she played some Chopin for me, and I then did likewise. We exchanged voice mail phone numbers, and parted ways, me for Tucson, and her for Pittsburgh, CA.

I called her voice mail the following Tuesday, and gave her my home phone. She had a bible study on Wednesday, so we spoke on the phone Thursday. We did this daily for another month, for hours at a time. Finally, in April, I flew up to Pittsburgh CA (it's in the Bay area near Oakland) for a long weekend. After three days, I knew for a fact that I could not go on without this woman, and so as we were on the way to the airport to put me back on the plane home, I asked her to marry me. She said yes, and we were married in her church six months later.

Sorry for the length of the response, but these two subjects, the Lord and my wife, are my absolute favorite.