Sometimes you wait years for prayers to be answers and other times youÂ feel like you have aÂ hotline to heaven.Â This wasÂ a hotline time.Â My friends began to urge me to goÂ back to the dating service and pick out some names and "get back into the swingÂ of things."Â I was ready, but I went back just wanting to have fun and meet some nice people.Â I really didn't think Mr. Right was waiting just around the corner.
I poured through the books reading profiles and looking at pictures.Â I picked out two men who seemed nice.Â I wasÂ about to put the book away when the receptionist came by.Â She leaned over my shoulder and flippedÂ the book to a page that I had studiedÂ earlier.Â "This one." She said, "He's so cute and so nice.Â Put his name down."Â NowÂ this guy was handsome with great dimples.Â I could tell from the picture that he was tall.Â His profile was articulate and that heÂ was committed to his faith.Â ThereÂ was only one reason I hadn't written hisÂ name down.Â I was sure someone so amazing would never want to meet me.Â Aww, what the heck.Â HeÂ could only say no and it wouldn't be to my face, right?Â So I wrote down his name and left.
I went on with my life and I was quite content.Â I caughtÂ up with girl friends who I hadn't had time to spend much time with.Â I worked hardÂ at my new position as lead teacher at a local junior high school.Â Lead teacher is actually code for "the person who will take on twice theÂ responsibility for almost no extra money."Â I didn't care, though.Â I loved teaching and I loved "my" kids.Â I was at school from 7:00 am until 4:30 andÂ then I still had a coupleÂ of hours of grading and planning.
Two weeks after I'd gone to the dating service, I got a call. I had been grading so I was a little distractedÂ when I answered the phone.Â A man's voice on theÂ other end of the phone confusedÂ meÂ for a moment.Â Then as the man introduced himself I realized he was one ofÂ theÂ men whose nameÂ I had chosen from the dating service--butÂ who?Â After another minute I realized it was the one who I NEVER thought would call!Â I have never had such a fun, easy conversation with someone I didn't know.Â We talked for a long time until I caught sight of the time and weighed the remaining evening against the stack of papers in front of me.Â
I didn't have to say anything.Â He said, "I'd really like to meet you.Â Where would you like to have dinner?" Test time "There is an Arabic Restaurant I've been wantingÂ to go back to.Â Are you game?" He laughed, "I'd love to.Â My UncleÂ and Aunt usedÂ to liveÂ in Saudi Arabia.Â It would be fun to try the food."Â A comfortable pause, "Now howÂ will I know you?"Â "Umm, I look a lotÂ like my picture."Â "Oh well, I haven't been able to get by the service since I've been workingÂ so much.Â So I haven't seen your picture."Â "Oh I see.Â I have a hump back and a wart on the end ofÂ my nose." WeÂ both laughed.Â "I'll justÂ look forÂ theÂ mostÂ beautiful woman in the room."Â Â What do you say to that?
The nightÂ of the date came.Â I arrived early.Â What can I say, it's a hangover from being a teacher.Â I was frankly horrified.Â The same place that was fun and unusual at lunch with a girlfriend had been turned romantic and exotic.Â Oh no!Â He was going to think I was some desperate woman on the hunt. ARGH! To make it worse, the place was deserted except for a pair ofÂ middle aged Arabic gentlemen enjoying their coffee across the room from the table where the friendly waitress hadÂ seated me.Â I wanted to crawl under the table.Â As the minutes passed, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be stoodÂ up.Â I was almostÂ eagerÂ to be stood up sinceÂ I was so nervous.Â What I forgot was that I had set my watch fast so I would always be early to school.Â
Exactly on the dot, the door opened and the tall handsome man walkedÂ in.Â HeÂ caught sightÂ of me immediately and gaveÂ me this megawatt smile.Â My stomach jumped.Â He was absolutely gorgeous.Â When he reachedÂ the table, he took my hand in his and said, "You forgot your hump and wart."Â I smiled,"They're in the shop."
We talked and talked.Â We ordered different things so we could try everything.Â When ourÂ food came, he reached across the table and took my hand.Â Then he said, "Let's pray." I bowedÂ my headÂ and inside I was thinking "YES!"Â Number one on my list was a commited Christian who wasÂ notÂ ashamed of his faith.Â We were on the right track.Â
We talkedÂ more.Â In fact we closed the place down. When he walked me to my car, I was nervous.Â I had promised myselfÂ no kissesÂ on the first date.Â I wantedÂ to know someone a little longer beforeÂ I started gettingÂ tangled up emotionally with him.Â ButÂ IÂ almostÂ wished he would try.Â I was very attracted to him.Â He gave me a quick hug, but theÂ look inÂ his eyes told me that he liked me very much indeedÂ even if heÂ didn't try to kiss me.Â
"I'd like to call you.Â Would that be okay?"
"Yes, I'dÂ like that."
Was he for real?Â Only time would tell.Â RightÂ now he looked like everthing with a cherry on top.Â I don't know how I gotÂ homeÂ driving in that cloud of dreams.
(continued in Part 4--Where's the Ring?)