I sit at the top of Mount Tabor, watching the sun set over the valley, Portland bathed in shadows below me. There are only a few wispy clouds to give texture to the sky. This is not a dramatic Van Gough sunset; this is a warm and peaceful Murillo sunset.
On the hillside to my left, a man in a black and white polo holds his girlfriend, her black, curly hair falling across his chest as she reclines comfortably into his arms. Below them, a slightly older couple sits side by side on a white blanket, staring at the reflections of the sky off of the Mount Tabor reservoir.
It is not what I think it is.
Donald Miller writes in Blue Like Jazz about a conversation that he had with a friend on the roof of his home. His friend spoke about marriage as though it was the best part of life, but then he goes on to tell Don that it does not satisfy. G-d did not make man to be alone, but he also did not make man to be satisfied by anything else other than himself.
It is a hard thing for me to understand when I look around and see joyful lovers sharing a bond that I lack. As I sit on the mountainside, I think of my close friends who just announced their engagement. I think about what this sunset together would mean to them. I think about the joy and intimacy that they will share as husband and wife.
Then suddenly, God brings a different picture to my mind. He shows me a woman in her thirties, a woman that has faithfully been seeking him, and protecting her heart, but who does not yet have the companion that she prays for. I think about the anger and frustration that she had to work through when her plans and G-d’s plans were not the same.
I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I know that he has plans to prosper me and not to harm me.