Sunday, 5 October 2008

Hi! I'm Mark

Once I was outside the Sanctuary, I started for the bathroom, but Mark stopped me with, "Excuse me, miss. I see that is a prayer shawl your wearing. I see you're a Messianic Jewess!  My name is Mark.
I had never seen such beautiful eyes before! They are remarkable. Mark's eyes are blue-green--sometimes blue, but often green. His eyes reminded me of the cool waters of the Meditteran Sea I swan in when I invited Morocco many years ago.

 Leave it to the Creator to bring me a man with green eyes;  I adore green eyes.
Now you have to understand. Mark's strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes give him this beachboy look.  

 I hope I do not offend anyone by saying this, but blonde hair, blue eyedbeachboys are not the type of guy I have ever been attracted to (that means Brad Pitt never stood a chance, not that hs'e worried I am sure).
 That all changed when I met Mark. Not that I really thought I stood a chance with him either.
It took a long time for G-d to convince me was indeed His will that I marry.

 After all, I am a woman of colour, over 40 years old and not a size 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10--more like a 20.
I had been married before. Within weeks I knew I had made an mistake. Hurting people hurt others and my ex-husband was hurting badly. The things that are in place to help men like my former husband, were around at the time. I often pray he found the help he needed. And someone who's love was strong enough to see him through his pain.
So having suffered from an abusive marriage once before, a marriage that didn't last even two years, I wasn't up for more hurt. I liked my life as a single woman. Oh sure, there were those times I longed for companionship. By and large however, I was ok.
 After years of it just being my son and I, with time and healing,  I slowly came to heal from the pain. I find myself giggling with memory of friends who would come up to me and say: "I am praying that G-d would bring you a very special man." I would thank them and go about my merry way, thinking it would take a miracle for a woman like me to find a g-dly man to love her.
I remember a man I met in 1995. He lost his young wife to cancer, leaving him with their three year son. It would be five years before he was ready to love again. He cried out to G-d for a wife, for a good woman that would love his son. By the time we met, his prayers had been answered: he was now remmaried and just had a baby girl.
"When your ready to love again, you will know it."
I wish I had stayed in contact with Gabe, so I could tell him he was right. So I could invite he and his family to see how the Holy One answered his prayers.
I remember the afternoon my heart opened up. It was December, 2000. Pastor Nate had preached a sermon about Ruth. Pastor Nate once pointed out how much my life mirrored Ruth. He was right. Ruth, who honoured her adopted mother, who threw her lot with the children of Isreal, G-d, as the Heavenly matchmaker, brought Boaz to her.
I was laying across my bed, rereading the book of Ruth when slowly, like the melting of a snow man, my icely cold heart began to melt, feeling once again warm and tender.
Yes, I was ready to love again.

   The Torah says, 'we have not because we ask not." And that G-d "gives us the desires of our hearts" that "G-d delights to give good gifts to His children." So, like a trusting daughter, I asked my Father for what I would wish in a mate:
It reminded me of when I was a little girl when my mum would begin to plan for our birthday parites.
"This year, you may have seven gifts," Mummie would say. So, we would give her a list of seven things we would like. She would then ask, "What kind of birthday party we would like and how many guest."
And knowing what is best for her girls, Mummie would do her best to make that dream party come true...within reason(I never did get that monkee)
So I did have my little list:

1. Tall
2.Messinaic, Sephardic Jew, mature believer
3. Not Military
4.No one in medical (I'd been a Nursing Assistant for over 20 years, the thrill was gone)
5.Love to dance or at least willing to learn.
Yes, tall order to be sure, but my faith and relationship to G-d is so important to me, I could only join with one who walked the same path. The Torah makes it clear we must marry "in the L-rd, not to be unequally yoked." The most important thing to me was that he was a g-dly man, a man of prayer and Torah. As strong his faith as I am. If I was to marry, then G-d would be the One to bring us together. I wasn't looking.

....I somehow managed to answer him: "yes, I am. You must be also. It's nice to meet you, Mark. I'm Elayne."
Mark answered yes, that he had been studied Torah under his Uncle and attend a Messinaic while overseas.
 He then mention he had heard about me and that I would know about the Messinaic congregation in the area.
 I did and I asked him to come to the church office with me so I could get him the address. I turned and headed (not for the bathroom) office. I peeked over my shoulder to see if he was watching me walk.
 He was.
 Once there I copied down the address and telephone number of Beth Messiah. Mark asked if I attended Beth Messiah as well.
"No, due to my eye sight, I don't drive.
"I will be happy to take you if you would like to go."
Would I like go? Are you kidding me??? I had been dying to visit Beth Messiah. But I played it cool.
"Thank you, that would great."
Once again I a discreet peek, this at his left hand. After all, a guy this goodlooking must be married...
There was no ring.
He then asked for my phone number. This could get interesting...
So we exchanged phone numbers and he asked about the cast on my ankle. It would be a good twenty minutes before I remembered I had to go to the loo.
Later in the week, Mark called to see how I was doing and if I had gotten a surgery date yet. Very thoughtful of him.
It would  several weeks before I would hear from or see Mark again. During this time, they was an opening in Doctor Angrew's schedule and the surgery would take place July 13th.
Septemeber found me off of bedrest and coming to the end of PT. The recovery of the operation on my achille's was quicker than Doctor Angew expected and I was regaining full motion in my ankle.
One Saturday evening, after Shabbat, I found Mark's phone number a left a message. There going to a concert at the church, held by the hebrew singing group, Kol Simcha. I found Mark's phone number and left a message to see if he wanted to go. He called right back and it was agreed we would go together.

Kol Simcha was amazing as always. For many, this was their first taste of hebrew worship; the liveily music, the spirited dancing. But for me, it was heavenly wine and challah. Though I still couldn't dance, it was good to get out of the house.
After the concert, we stopped at a seven-elevn for cokes. Such visits to seven-elevn would quickly become part of our courtship.
On the ride at to my home, I got to know Mark just a little better. He was now looking for a new job, living with his parents, but looking to move soon and was now in the Army Reserves. He was also a Pre-Med student.
I told him when we met, I thought he was a rabbi, or studying to be one.
Now it was Mark's turn to laugh. For the past few weeks he had bee thining about switching his major to religious studies.


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