Trail Blazer Ministries
Base Camp for Life: A Spiritual Journey...

Arms Open Like The Sea

by Nathan Williams

My parents said, “Be careful who you marry.” Then I came home from school broken up with Faith and my mom cried, “We wasted our money! Why did we even bother getting you a Christian education?”

We were betrothed from birth, Faith and I. That is the way of it for most people, born into a sacred tradition, a holy marriage. I guess my mother never thought about her own engagement like I did.

I can’t, mom, at least not now. Don’t you see that if I was born in India or Pakistan I would be betrothed to another? Faith always told me I was blessed to have her— I would be eternally damned without her. You and dad said the same. But then I discovered other girls saying similar things. Don’t you see the dilemma?

“I feel like I’ve lost you. Was it a professor or some friends who filled your mind with these adulteries?” she asked. “What did I do wrong as a mother? I don’t understand. I just don’t understand.”

It’s true. Faith and I were always close when I was younger. All my friendsknew her so it just felt right, felt True. Faith, with her windy white dress, always looked so pretty. Sometimes I would spend my whole lunch period reading her love letters.

Then one day, just after a marriage class, some light caught Faith in her windy white dress, for a moment her hidden hips and heavy breasts illuminated like a holy ghost. I stared too long, and was never the same. Seeing the nakedness of one woman changed the way I saw all women.

My eyes were opened. All the other women—the ones said to be ugly and evil I soon discovered were beautiful—even kind, some of them. I met Ameena with her starry glances and smile like the moon, Bodhi with her spinning wheel, Nishtha with her four arms and lotus dreams, Cressida with her Gucci glasses and polyester pumps.

It was a supermarket of enticement, each woman’s arms open like the sea. Yet they quickly informed me, with sincere psalms and smiles, shady super- natural curves, and Pandora-box secrets beneath their clothes that I was doomed if I did not marry them.

To marry a girl because I loved her and we generally got along would be so nice. But Faith—dear love—along with all the other strange and beautiful women ordain marriage a grave choice beyond what feels True, even beyond love.


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