an engagement story
“How about here?” Grace asks, immediately entranced by the beauty of the place, so green in the midst of yellow grass and sagebrush.
“Yeah, it is a nice spot,” Arthur replies. He lets go of her hand and steps easily over the shallow stream to the small, tree-sheltered island. He turns around and holds out his hand to Grace to help her across. Her legs are shorter, so it is a little more difficult for her to cross the stream.
It is a short jump, which lands her safe on the soft sandy soil of the island. No one else is nearby. Grace knows this is the right place and the right time.
Arthur drops to one knee and looks up at Grace’s smiling face. Her smooth, ivory skin and silky, chocolate-brown hair look terrific shaded by the canopy of trees and back-dropped by the emerald-green leaves and milk-white flowers. He remembers how cute that face looked the first time he saw it in the dining hall at Maple Springs Bible Camp. It was the first day of staff training, she looked shy and nervous, and he wanted to get to know her better. That was nearly three years ago. Now, she is the only girl he sees as beautiful. No one comes close to her matchless beauty.
It is time to ask the question he brought her here for. “So, will you marry me?” Love floods his senses. He knows she will say yes since they have been discussing marriage for months and have just come from the jewelry store where they picked out the ring together, but he still waits with anticipation for her answer. He knows he could not live without her in his life.
Grace looks down at his open, expectant face, remembering the way she felt when he first introduced himself to her. He was so polite and well mannered. She was impressed. He stood out from the immature, silly group of volunteers she was to work with that summer. She remembers all the fun they had had working together, and starts giggling. She remembers feeding him Smarties with her fingers, and him eating them even though he did not care for chocolate. She remembers being teased by the other staff for “breaking the ‘six-inch rule’” by sitting “too far apart.” She remembers playing board games until after midnight on the weekends and Arthur annoying everyone by counting their game money because they were counting it too slowly.
Still laughing, she manages to say, “Yes.” As he slips the sparkling gold ring onto the third finger of her left hand, she remembers the first time he ever held her hand. They were sitting on the frame of Maple Springs’ blue trampoline when the bell rang for supper. He slid easily onto the ground, then turned, and offered to help her down. She remembers the warmth of his hand as it briefly cradled hers that first time.
He kisses her hand, his eyes closed, remembering the very first kiss he ever gave her. It was at her graduation dance, the May following their summer at Maple Springs. They were dancing to Shania Twain’s “Still the One” and he gently pressed his lips to her forehead, inhaling her lovely smell and yearning to kiss her more. Today, this is the first kiss of their engagement. He stands, takes her in his arms, and kisses her inviting lips.
She wraps her arms around him and returns his kiss. She remembers Arthur telling her of how he was not originally planning to work at Maple Springs, but was trying to find a paying job. When he had not found a job, and the prospects were looking dismal, his aunt had told him Maple Springs was short on male staff. He decided God might want him to volunteer at Maple Springs that summer, so he called the camp director and was accepted as a much-appreciated addition to the summer staff. Since she lived in Pritchard and he lived two hundred and fifty miles away in Vancouver at the time, there was little chance for them to meet any other way. Grace is so glad he decided to work at the same camp she worked at that summer.
Staring into her beautiful, sparkling eyes, Arthur whispers, “I love you so very much.”
“I love you with an everlasting love.” Grace smiles up at her fiancé’s radiant face.