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  • Writer's pictureShannon Van Roekel

Marry Me

Fulfill Your vows.

I long for You in the night.

I am sick with love ...

Make haste my beloved.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl and a handsome prince. He loved her more than he loved himself. He said he would even die for her. Finally He asked the big question and her answer was, “Yes!”

The preparations began! And no preparations have ever compared, even remotely, to the preparations made for this wedding feast and celebration. But, before the celebration could begin, the bridegroom had to leave town. He comforted his bride, explaining that it wouldn’t be long before He was back and to go ahead and invite anybody she wanted to the big event; He couldn’t wait to see her again!

And with that He was gone. And the waiting began.

She waited and waited. She waited some more. She started to cry and weep and feel generally sorry for herself. And then she began to doubt. What if He wasn’t coming back at all? What if He was dead? What if their romance was just a figment of her imagination … it had happened so long ago. Maybe it was just a daydream.

Enter the Villain.

He wasn’t as handsome or strong as the prince. Not at all. And he wasn’t a prince. He was sort of ... nobody. (Or should I say—anybody?)

But he was there. He was there every single day, making his presence felt, giving her cheap perfume and plastic flowers and useless baubles. No, none of it was real. But she liked the attention. He told her she was pretty and smart and desirable. These were things she longed to hear. And then her heart began to tell her similar lies about the imposter. Of course, he wasn’t handsome, not when you really looked at him, and he was as foolish as any man has ever been who flirts with someone else’s wife, and … desirable? Not at all. He had absolutely nothing to offer her. But she wanted so badly to believe the lies. So she did.

And she gave herself away to the other man.

What she didn’t know was that her lover couldn’t care less about her. But he knew and hated her husband, with a fierce hatred and jealousy that had begun long before she was even born. Like a bratty child, the imposter merely wanted for his own whatever her husband loved, in order to trample it under his feet in the filth and mud and hand it back with a mocking laugh, saying, “Here’s Your pretty little bride; You can have her!”

And his plan worked. The stupid bride had fallen for him. The nightmare of her torment began.

Far away in another part of His kingdom, the prince looked up from the wedding preparations and the mansion He was building for His bride. It was time. Everything was perfect, down to the last detail. Time to go get her.

When He arrived to claim what was His, it took most everyone by surprise.

The poor bride! She wanted to hide. To bury herself in the ground where the Prince would never see her. Her veil was long gone. Her makeup all smudged from the ravishings of her lover. Her bridal gown was filthy with the impurity of her affair, and she stank from her uncleanness.

The Groom was saying something. She couldn’t understand at first. His words were like an echo of a dream she had dreamed once, so long ago. But then, He said it again. This time she heard. She remembered His amazing voice.

It forced her eyes up, to look on His face. And His face was filled with love.

Pure love and—could it be? His face was filled with longing …for her!

How could He still want her? It was impossible. She looked down. She hadn’t dreamed it. She was worse than a mess. She was vile. And it was her own faithlessness that had made her that way. She had ruined everything. Her head sank down again, but she could hear Him, loud and clear now. Only one word.


She looked at the Groom. She looked at herself. For the first time, she noticed the river between them. It was deep, and it was wide. And red. She staggered up from the mud, stepped toward the river and started in. Sticky, oozing blood. She looked up at her Betrothed, a question in her eyes.

Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sins. My blood has been poured out for you.”

He stood on the other side of the river, waiting, His hand stretched out to her.


With her eyes fixed on His beautiful face, she waded in, ankles, knees, waist; the river pulled her into its current, and then down. She was under the blood, completely lost and helpless in His terrible sacrifice..

But then, her feet felt something, yes—solid ground. She tripped, clutching at the ground, crawling out on hands and knees, finally lying, trembling, before Him.

He spoke her name. And then took her gently by the hand, lifting her up, pulling her close. Her trembling had turned to violent shaking. How could He do this … travesty? She deserved nothing but His fierce wrath and the judgment of Hell.


He was smiling, His face was tender, and the love in His eyes was unmistakable. He was very pleased.

“You are altogether lovely,” He told her.

How could He say those words? She was no naïve, blushing bride; she understood full well what she was, but her conundrum was this: He would never lie.

She glanced down at herself in dismay.


This wasn’t her torn and dirty wedding dress. No. This was a dress she had never seen or imagined in her wildest fairy tale. This was a bridal gown of splendor and glory and … most miraculous … it was pure, dazzling white.

He knew everything.

He had known all that would be and made a way for her to come to Him, in spite of her betrayal. She looked back over her shoulder at the bloody river, full of Life and Love.

She had lost her old self inside His cleansing flow.

And now?

She was prepared by Him, and for Him, always and forever. She was His.

Her eyes squeezed shut in the knowing of joy and peace and love as it had always been meant to be. She collapsed then, at His feet, and clung to Him as she wept in thankfulness and love and worship—as it had always been meant to be.

His voice above her. Not speaking, but singing! Singing … over her.

“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,

and come away,

for behold, the winter is past;

the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth,

the time of singing has come,

and the voice of the turtledove

is heard in our land.

The fig tree ripens its figs,

and the vines are in blossom;

they give forth fragrance.

Arise, my love, my beautiful one,

and come away.”

She was Home.

-italicized words all taken from Scripture: Song of Solomon, Hebrews 9:22B, Luke 22:20B, and Revelation 22:17

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