Melody walked through the mall, quickly, yet deliberately. She had no idea that as she walked, she seemed to move to invisible music. Her tall, boy-like figure swayed to an unheard beat. Short brown hair framed her pixie face, and her chocolate brown eyes danced with merriment.
She was on a mission to get the perfect gift for her best friend. She had heard that a new Christian CD was just out and it was what she wanted. Spotting the Christian Book Store, she turned toward it, and ran smack into someone or some thing. She stopped and looked up into the most beautiful blue eyes she had ever seen. Melody started to apologize, but words seemed to fail her as she just stood and stared at the man. He was about 6'2", tall, and slim. He was beautiful if one could call a man beautiful. A woodsy fragrance filled the air around him. The man seemed amused at her and said, "You must really be in a big hurry. Where is the fire?"
Melody backed away from the man and said, "I am so sorry. I really did not look where I was going. Just in a hurry, I guess." The man smilingly answered, "well, if I had to be run over, I am glad it was by a beautiful young lady. Maybe we should start over. My name is Josh and yours is?" In a low, soft voice Melody said, "my name is Melody, and I am truly sorry for running into you like that." Josh just stood there looking at her for some time before he said, "No problem, Melody, in fact you have brightened up a dreary day. I don't have a habit of picking up ladies at the mall, but how about me buying you a cup of coffee?"
Looking back into those beautiful blue eyes, she could only nod. How could she say no? She wanted to so badly. Her quest for the CD was forgotten. She had just agreed to have coffee with a complete stranger. The very thought thrilled her.
The taste of the coffee was strong and delicious. As they sat at one of the tiny tables sprinkled across the floor near the coffee spot, Melody told him all about herself, which was a most unusual thing for her to do. She told him that she was a secretary for the Harvest Church and its Youth Minister. She told him of her family and where she lived and where the church was and everything else she could think of. Josh told her he was the lead singer in a band that played at the clubs downtown. They called themselves "Dusk to Dawn" and he loved his job. They talked as if they had known each other for years. She felt comfortable talking with Josh, and she really enjoyed the chance to get know him better. When the coffee cups were empty, Josh asked her for her phone number, which she gave to him. She really had no idea why.
That was the beginning of a wonderful friendship. Melody and Josh spent much time together, sometimes going on long walks by the riverbank. Even the dirty water looked good to Melody as long as she was with Josh. Sometimes they rode bikes on the bike trail, where the smell of fresh flowers filled the air. Many evenings they would sit on her porch swing and talk. With her job being during the day, and his job being at night, they were able to spend evenings together.
As the months passed, they grew closer and closer. Melody knew she was in love with Josh and she believed that he loved her. Josh never said the words to her, but she felt his deep, quiet love each time they were together. They never seemed to disagree on anything--except her church. He did not want to hear about it. He would get quiet and just look at her when she tried to share things from the church. When Melody would get excited about something in church, she would try to tell it to Josh, but he didn't want to hear about it.
"It's like this,
Melody," Josh told her at the end of one particularly beautiful summer evening.
"I don't want to hear about your church; I don't want to go to your church. Not now. Not ever. You have a choice to make here. Do you want to be with me always and forever, or do you want to be with this God of yours?"
His words burned to the depths of Melody's very soul. She closed her eyes tightly in agony. Was he asking her to choose between him and the Lord? There was no choice! She would never turn away from God. She loved Josh so much it hurt, but Jesus was--and always would be--first in her life. Melody opened her eyes to see Josh still standing in front of her. He stood waiting for her to say something. What could she say? She cleared her throat and spoke, "Josh, I love you with all my heart, but the Lord is first in my life and always will be. I will not deny Him ever. I just can't."
Josh shook his head and said, "Well, I guess you made your choice. I will not try to compete with this Jesus of yours. My only hope is that He can make you happy." He bent over and kissed her then turned and walked away leaving her standing there.
As the next few months slowly passed, Melody was numb. She cried and cried. She had loved Josh so much. The main thought in her mind was, why? Why did he do this? Her heart was broken and she felt betrayed. Melody knew she could not, nor did she want to, change her decision. But would the pain ever go away? Could she ever begin to live again? She thought not. The hurt cut too deeply.
Melody was busy getting ready for a concert the teens were having that night. Some new Christian band had become very popular and they agreed to come to the church for a concert. The excitement in the air was contagious. The band was already at the hall. At least 20 teens had told her so and everything was fine. Melody sank into the middle chair in the back row of seats at the Fellowship Hall and closed her eyes. Soft brown hair fell over her face as she bowed her head to rest a bit before the program began. She was so tired.
Suddenly the sound of a beautiful praise song flowed over the room. It was almost surreal. Then she heard the voice. The beloved voice she could never forget. She opened her eyes, immediately spotting him as he stood behind the microphone at the front of the stage. He looked good. His hair was shorter and he was slimmer now, but he still had those beautiful crystal blue eyes. She could see the blue from all the way back where she sat.
Then Josh looked directly at her as he spoke. "A couple of years ago I walked away from the woman I loved with all my heart. I made her choose between her God and me. She had the wisdom to choose her God. I had a hard time accepting that she would choose someone who was not real over me, and I convinced myself she did not love me. But as I finally came to see, she made the right choice. He is real, this man Jesus Christ. I now see and my blinded eyes are open to the Truth. It took a barmaid in a small town to sit me down and share the Good News with me. I played music in bars. I now sing in churches and at church events to lift up the name of the man Jesus Christ. He walked toward the back of the church where Melody sat.
Warm tears flowed down Melody's cheeks as he came nearer and nearer. She thrilled to the news that Josh had found the greatest love of all, Jesus. She whispered, "Thank you Jesus, for saving his soul."
Josh stood at the end of the row and held out his arms. She stumbled numbly over the feet and legs of the kids sitting between her and Josh. Melody slid into his arms and looked into his face. He kissed her and held her close. Then the whole hall filled with clapping and hoots. Melody and Josh never noticed. They simply turned and walked out of the hall with their arms around each other, on the way to start a beautiful life together in the service of their Lord.