This is a fairy-tale and, as everyone knows, fairy-tales are completely made up.
It is about a girl.
There was a girl, she was maybe 22, maybe a little more, maybe a little less...who knows?
She didn't really know it but she was pretty. And she was slim, very slim. In her heart she knew that God was calling her to love Him through marriage.
All she needed was someone to marry.
So it came about that she met and dated a young man. He was handsome and funny and they laughed a lot. He had the air of a bad-boy history about him of which she knew very little. His past was brushed aside whenever it came up in conversation. The mystery only added to the attraction. He was dressed in well cut suits made by D & G and smelled of Armani aftershave.
She had a great time for a few months. Money was flashed and spent with aplomb. He brought her to expensive restaurants, often ordering top of the range champagne...just to celebrate...nothing really. Just to celebrate that he had the money to pay for it. He regularly presented her with some expensive gift...jewellery, flowers and so on.
The young man didn't understand or share the values of the girl, but he tolerated them, because she was pretty. And she had nice legs. He didn't push her...not yet...
Now the girl had this one skirt that was fitted and was just a bit shorter than her other skirts. When she sat down it slid up her leg a little too far, but she was slim and she could carry it off.
One evening after another expensive evening bathed in the smell of Armani and champagne and the lingering citrus aroma of illegal smoke, spent in the company of the other handsome and finely dressed men from his work, the young man told the girl that he particularly liked her wearing that skirt because when she wore it he knew every man in the room wanted her...(because she was pretty and she had nice legs).
The girl made a joke and laughed it off. But over the next few weeks she found herself slipping into that skirt a little more often than before. And she spent a little more money on the stockings she'd wear with it-maybe a little more sheer than what she had been wearing.
And when they socialised with his workmates she'd slip on heels which accentuated her legs. And she was happy that when she sat down, the skirt would slide up her leg. You see, the compliment a few weeks before about how the men looked at her had changed a tiny bit of that girl's heart and worn it way.
And he was patient...he could wait. Knowing (from experience) how good looks and empty flattery can wear down the resolve of values. And when he noticed a flicker of pleasure pass her face when she spotted his eye lingering on her figure, he knew it was just a matter of time.
But he hadn't accounted for the fact that the girl also had eyes, and a heart that could read and notice the deeper motives of another, and though she had been temporarily swept away by false flattery and the draw of the fruit that could never satisfy, she wasn't stupid.
Because one day that young wolf's plans came crashing down around his ears. And just like the wolf in every other fairy-tale, he was the author of his own demise.
One evening (when he felt his moment had come) he informed her he was going to marry her and to celebrate they were going to eat and have champagne at yet another expensive hotel. She went along and when they entered the plush foyer, with it's marbled floor and sparkling chandeliers, he strode to a low table which was free. There were two seats at the table-a velvet armchair, luxuriously upholstered, and an equally well upholstered stool. With a suave flick, he draped his fine suit jacket over the back of the armchair, loosened his tie and sat down.
The girl sat on the stool and proceeded to listen to him not ask about her day.
At that moment she knew without a shadow of doubt that this wasn't the man for her.
This wasn't what she wanted.
She didn't want a man who saw fit to leave her to sit on a stool while he took the armchair. Hadn't her parents told her that a good man would see her as a Queen and treat her as such? What sort of queen is put sitting on a stool?
She didn't want someone who threw money and ostentatious gestures at her but who never asked her about her day.
At that moment the girl saw.
And she knew what it was her heart longed for.
She didn't want the perfect but scentless roses and orchids, clinically cultivated and harvested for their market value. She wanted the first snowdrop of Spring, carefully picked and wrapped in a posy of tinfoil.
She didn't want those restaurants and those fine wines. She wanted to share a coke sitting on a wall till 4am...just talking.
She didn't want someone who noticed and wanted her body but cared less for her heart. She didn't want someone who wished other men to demean themselves and her by lusting after her for the sake of his own ego. She wanted the person who didn't first notice her legs, but instead noticed that when the light caught her eyes he could see that they were golden like the sun...and that those little flecks were just like sunspots.
She didn't want someone who spoke loudly to draw attention to himself and his good looks.
She wanted the person whose soul whispered to hers, understated and true.
She wanted someone who didn't see her values as something to be worn down and conquered, because he would know this story:
The Most Perfect Gift
There was once a father who loved his child more than anything in the world. He would do anything for that child-even give his own life if needs be.
Now one time the father was visiting Switzerland on business.
Now if you have been to Switzerland you will know that the best chocolate comes from there. The father had been to Belgium before and though the chocolate there had been lovely, still, he knew the best chocolate comes from Switzerland.
So when his business was done, the father headed out to get his child the best chocolate. He searched the glossy shops, the fine confectioners and the best chocolatiers until finally he found, hidden away in a quiet backstreet, nestled between a pretty shop selling colourful cuckoo clocks and a tailors, a tiny store selling the best chocolate of all. He looked and looked until he spotted the most prettily wrapped piece of perfect chocolate. The beautifully coloured foil and cellophane were bound by ribbons and decorated with silk flowers he guessed had been made by fairy craft-folk.
In was small and exquisite. Perfect in fact.
His child would love this gift. The father packed it carefully in his luggage so as to keep it safe and undamaged. He imagined his child's delight when he was handed it. He imagined how the child would admire and hold the pretty parcel and place it in pride of place to be appreciated fully and showed off for a while before it was unwrapped. Then the child would taste the milky Swiss chocolate and notice that it was better than the chocolate from Belgium.
He could hardly wait to get home and give his child that carefully chosen gift.
He could hardly wait for the hug the child would give him because he would know he had the best father, who loved him more than life.
The child was playing his playstation when he heard the sound of his father's car arriving. He threw down the game controller and ran to open the door. Before the father could put the key in the latch the child had burst out. He ran past the father's open arms and his gentle smiling face and grabbed the luggage bag, knowing there would be a gift within.
He ripped open the bag, strewing the contents over the floor until he found the carefully packed parcel.
Within seconds he had torn open the packaging, thrown it crumpled and ruined on the floor and the chocolate was consumed in a few seconds of intense pleasure and gratification.
When it was swallowed, the child stepped over the mess, kicked the ribbons aside and returned to the playstation, trodding on the silken flowers as he went-the chocolate already forgotten.
His father regarded the decimated remains of the gift on the floor and then his child, still with great love, still for whom he would gladly die, but his heart broke a little because the child had not received his gift. The gift had become not a sign of affection, lovingly given, but rather a thing, grabbed and devoured and forgotten.
The child didn't know he had the best father who had given him the best present-he had recognised neither father nor gift.
It was no longer a gift.
It hadn't been given.
It hadn't been received.
He would know this story, for it was written in his heart and he knew it was true.
So when some months later, when she hadn't noticed that he had recognised the sun-spots in her eyes...
...when she was unaware of his youthful prayers to his Father to keep his carefully chosen gift safe until he found her...
...when she hadn't heard the whisper of his soul calling hers...
...when she had failed to notice the carefully choreographed coincidence of finding herself time and again paired off with him as they rang doorbells pleading the cause of the unborn in the upcoming vote...
...she was suddenly startled when he climbed into the car beside her, along with the other young people fighting the cause,
and as she felt the gentle warmth of his arm beside hers, she smelt a smell that wasn't Armani and didn't shout 'Look at ME! I'm RICH!'.
His soft blue, well-washed student's shirt didn't smell of Armani, but she recognised it all the same,
because her Father God had infused it in her heart the day he breathed life into her.
"Here I am...You're home now."
This is a fairy-tale, and as everyone knows, fairy-tales are completely made up.