The Eternal Mystery

Oct 25, 2023

Please enjoy this guest post from David Steen who is an active part of the Platform Launchers Members' Club.  To learn more about his most recent book, please visit:

Off to the creek we went, but after lunch, late afternoon instead of our usual morning routine.
Cooler temps in the morning and some other busyness of life pushed our walk out until later. But
we made it.

I had been gone on a trip, so it was good to be home, to get back to normal, our blessed
commonplace. It is part of the normal we thrive on.

Skies were as blue as blue can be, against a backdrop of mountains to the south. We were like
two giddy high school sweethearts out on a date, happy to catch up on life after my absence.
Catch up we did. We laughed, prayed, talked about plans and next steps with each other and God.
In our little bit of time at our favorite spot, backsides pressed against millions of creek rocks, we
immersed ourselves in the companionship of each other, as if we had raced each other to the end
of a wooden dock and jumped in the lake in the middle of July.

We picked up little rocks, newly dropped acorns and acorn hats and some muscle shells here and
there. We are often tempted to call them sea shells, but that wouldn’t be the least bit accurate
since our dwelling is here in the heart of Arkansas. They are, in fact, freshwater muscle shells,
the muscle portion being long gone leaving the lifeless remains, the outer shell.

As me and Mrs. Katrina sat under the fall trees and brilliant blue skies, I reached into the mixture
of sandy soil and creek rocks and produced two pairs of shells. I say “pairs” because the ones I
picked up, were spread apart like a butterfly’s wings, yet still connected at the small little point at
the top.

As we sat and talked, I laid the two pairs of shells in the palm of my hand, waited for my
moment in the conversation, and asked Katrina, “Which one are you?” Of course, I already had
my answer, my preconceived notion of what I thought she would say.

In the uppermost left-hand side of my palm was a pair of shells that seemed to represent me. I’m
a little larger in stature than Katrina, and that pair was, in my mind, a little rough around the
edges, less than pretty. On the other side of my palm, the lower right side, was another pair, a
little smaller with a bit of pinkish color. That pair just seemed to me a little daintier and pretty,
the ones that seemed to represent Katrina.

With zero hesitation, she pointed to one side of the larger pair of shells and said that was her. I
said, “No, that’s not right. You have to pick a pair,” to which she replied, “No, that pair
represents us, Baby. That pair is larger and stronger, and they are connected. One is you; one is
me and we’re connected. We are one!”

I sat there, baffled. How could the perspective of two humans who know each other so well be so
very different? Yet I was so pleased with her answer. How could a guy go wrong with that?
When I seem to think I have it all figured out, have her all figured out, once again comes a curve
ball, part of me learning about the eternal mystery of this lovely woman God has gifted to me.

That is where, I suspect, many marriages get into trouble. A couple will spend months and years
trying to figure each other out so they “understand” each other, so they know how to act and how
to meet the needs of their other half. Nothing wrong with that, mind you. But in so many
instances, when a twist or wrinkle comes along in the midst of having it all figured out, they may
get frustrated. It may not be one incident or two or ten, but over time, over years, they grow
callous and numb in the attempt to understand one another.

Complacency sets in, the routine or other stresses of everyday life, and before they know it, they
drift apart and settle for a less than ideal existence, or worse, that ever-so-prevalent way of
escape, the dreaded “D” word. I can tell you with certainty, the only “D” word in our home that
will separate us is death, not divorce. Not happening on our watch!

This kind of lifetime longevity requires commitment. It’s not a 50/50 give and take. It requires
100% from both individuals, along with being centered around a love for serving the Lord
together, no matter what.

So, do I have my eternal mystery girl figured out? Well, I’m getting there. But then I’m not
always the easiest puzzle to put together myself.

Til death do us part, Baby. Indeed, we are one!

Written after our walk to the creek, October 16, 2023, with God smiling.

© David Steen, 2023

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