This is a short story from a wonderful little book about God’s personal, unconditional and irresistible love. It is a little hoaky in spots, but serves for illustrating the powerful point that God’s love doesn’t wait for us to ask for it – but overcomes our resistance to Him. God doesn’t wait for hard hearts to soften – He softens hard hearts.
Once upon a time, a young man met a young woman, and the two of them fell in love. After a giddy and exciting courtship, brimming with anticipation, the young man resolved to ask the young woman to marry him. He spoke to her father, acquired the ring, planned out the most romantic possible setting for the proposal, and invited her to meet him there.
Now, the young woman studied chemistry. Being intelligent and spirited, she was of a curious nature. On the morning of the day on which the young man was planning to propose marriage, she was visiting a pharmaceutical plant to learn about its processes. Succumbing to temptation, she tampered with the machines in her desire to learn more about them, and she was exposed to a toxic chemical. She was immediately thrown into a state of deranged madness. She hated everyone in the world, most especially the young man who loved her.
Later that day ,when the young man asked her, “Will you marry me?” she denounced him in a rage of cursing and swearing such as no one in that town had ever heard. She was brought in for treatment, but the doctors couldn’t help her. They pronounced her condition irreversible and untreatable.
Her madness grew worse, until she would physically attack anyone who even approached her. Before long she was confined to an asylum, kept in restraints at all times. There she lay for years and years, strapped to her gurney, endlessly raging and cursing against the world.
Now the young man was like the young woman, intelligent and spirited. He dropped out of law school to study medicine, becoming a doctor. Working night and day for years, at long last he discovered a way to cure her condition.
From the instant he entered her cell, she screamed imprecations at him more horrible than any she had uttered in all her long years of madness. When they removed her arm restraint to administer the injection, she seized the front of his throat and plunged her fingernails in as deeply as she could. In her insanity, she wanted to tear out his larynx and eat it. The orderlies pulled her arm away, but his five wounds were deep, and they never fully healed.
As he administered the injection she began screaming “No!” over and over. She continued screaming it after he left, until she had screamed it 666 times. But the treatment worked, and when she woke up the next day, she came to herself. When he walked into her cell to see how it was with her, she cried out “Yes!” They wept as they embraced, she began saying “Yes!” over and over, until she had said it seven times seventy times.
He nursed her back to health, their amazing story spread to international fame, and they were at long last married in a ceremony that captured the attention of the entire world. When the minister had pronounced them man and wife, the husband leaned in to kiss her, and she whispered, “Thank you that your love was stronger than my hate.”
– pgs. 109-111, The Joy of Calvinism, by Greg Forster