12 Dynamic Buildings in South Korea Pushing the Brick Envelope,© Yong-Kwan Kim

When she concluded her prayers, she switched on her phone and a message entered. It was from Mike. Sarah was hesitant but she opened it and read, ‘I am sorry about the way I spoke. I am just worried that we would allow external factors derail our love for each other and the voice of God nudging us ahead. I am very sorry for speaking that way.’ With smiles and a new spark of love in her heart, Sarah thanked the Lord again and replied his text, ‘It is alright. I will call you later today; we have some things to talk about.’ She was going to accept his proposal. When Sarah told Mike about the impression of the scriptures on her heart during that morning’s quiet time, and the assurance she had from God afterwards, he could not hold back his lips from shouting a loud ‘Hallelujah!’ ‘I so much love this God. He is not an author of confusion; I love you, Sarah’ he added. Though she knew what she felt for him was also strong, Sarah was still too shy to speak the declarations of love. ‘I love God too. And you too.’ She said. ‘Me too, what?’ Mike pressed. ‘You know now…’

‘I don’t know oooo…’ Sarah laughed and Mike joined her with her right hand pressed down on the part of his chest that covered his heart. He had never felt so in love with anyone as he did with Sarah that moment. ‘I love you, Sarah.’ he said again; this time his voice was heavy with emotion and sincere. ‘I love you too’ Sarah responded succinctly in a low voice. But Mike listened hard enough to hear her and he was glad she found the courage and strength to speak those words. He had always known she was the one for him even while they were students in the university. The first day she was introduced to him as the newest member of their fellowship’s choir team, he didn’t feel anything towards her. And a year later, he still had not felt anything. But during the last months Mike spent in the school before his graduation, a new wave of deep likeness started rising in his heart for Sarah and he knew it wasn’t the normal brotherly love the disciples of Jesus wrote about. The few times they met during those last weeks together in school, anytime he had to speak with her, he always felt pleasant, yet uncomfortable. He would try to avoid her, but when he did, he would regret doing so and his heart will rebuke him for hours. While the rest of the students went home for holidays, Mike, like every other final year students had to stay behind in the school to tidy up his research project and defence. So when Sarah came to tell him farewell after a Sunday service, Mike felt like a chunk of his heart was being cut away. Though his heart wanted him to ask her to wait awhile and stay back on campus with him, his tongue didn’t possess the strength to speak the words. And so it was; they had parted with smiles on Sarah’s lips but a pain in Mike’s heart.

He had to spend time the night of that Sunday to enquire from God why his heart felt so heavy at the departure of a lady. And it was since that night he had known, and became convinced he might never live happily until he told her about his wishes and ask her to spend the rest of his life with her. He had been patient; he had waited for her to finish her study before he started a special friendship with her. And now, while she waited for her National Service call-up letter, he had increased his attention to her and stopped a lot of hints about his intentions. Thus, speaking with her on the phone and hearing her tell him ‘I love you’ was like music to a weary soul and water to a desert land. ‘So, what next now?’ Sarah’s voice brought him back to the present. ‘As how?’ he asked for explanation. ‘I mean what is going to happen between us now that we have agreed?’ ‘Well,’ Mike began. ‘I will travel down to your town next week and speak with your parents and Pastor.’ ‘So fast?’ Sarah asked; surprised though happy. ‘It is not fast at all. I have been waiting for over three years to do this.’ He laughed and she joined him.

FIVE MONTHS AFTERWARDS… ‘This is one of the happiest days of my life, Mike’. Sarah was bright-faced and so elated. Not even the hectic day could do anything to dampen her spirits. ‘I mean, after so long a time, we are finally going to start our courtship’. Visibly happy and smiling broadly, Mike never felt his heart so light. He was finally going to marry the love of his life. ‘I am very happy too; all we just have to do is get that result from the Laboratories’. ‘Forget Lab jor. We already know you are AA and I am AS; our genotypes match. The test is just to fulfill all righteousness’. Sarah answered confidently. ‘Yes o, nothing can stop us now. Not after the delays we have had to endure’. Just hearing about the long delays put up by the church leaders was enough to wipe away the smile from Sarah’s face momentarily. When the church had refused to recognize their relationship and had delayed them from moving forward, Sarah had felt a lot of things but it was the doubts that assailed her throughout the time of waiting that were unbearable. ‘Well, we bless God for everything’, Mike said quickly, sensing the sadness that was slowly creeping into Sarah’s voice. ‘Yeah, it is all water under the bridge now. It will be smooth sailing from here on’. Sarah replied, trying to remain her optimistic self.


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