It was late afternoon and the sun in Norfolk county Oregon spread out in a long flat line. Mathew adjusted his glasses and thought there was not a better site in these parts. He prolonged the moment and then turned his mind to the coming days.
He was slated to be in Wash town for the opening of the First National Bank. Being asked was a step up in the business community. He had worked tirelessly to get ahead. His business was successful and his crown of enjoying the rise was about to bear fruit. He had built many a home for others. Commercial sites were high on his accomplishment with industrial buildings a new adventure. He gained his experience in building from his Father with a gift for figures and had become known for his ability to produce, deliver on time and under budget. He let his thoughts drift as he had a good fortune and a promise of more to come. He somehow felt uneasy as something was missing. He was not yet married. Mathew had dated enough, enjoying the company of many ladies, but always there was something lacking. Not with them, for they were fine, just that he could not put his finger on it but he was sure it was out there somewhere.
His mother often understood more than others and asked the same questions. “Do you want to talk about it? What’s bothering you? You can’t go on this way!” He explained to his mother there was something missing in his life and let it go at that. He never could bring himself to say much but it welled up in him so he gritted his teeth and went on. Several years went by and he was still growing and producing but with less enjoyment - still searching but for what. One day while he was away from town he came across a group of people who were having a picnic. They seemed happy and asked him to join with them. Mathew wasn’t the least bit interested, yet he hesitated and then agreed. He had to admit the rest of the evening was pleasant as the Baptist group awakened something within him.
He said goodbye and thanked them for a great evening and heard a lot of “God bless you and keep you safe.” He left with a peculiar feeling as something stirred in him. Mathew had never been interested in church or religion but had to admit with this encounter there was a keen sense of feeling. He hung on to the moment and found some satisfaction with people of such willingness to share what they had.
He never attended their church but after that experience he was more willing to appreciate people of faith. So often he found himself donating to different churches and usually to something specific they were doing. He became friends with Father Mabry from the Catholic Church and spent time with him and once attended mass, finding an appreciation for his keen intellect and kindness.
It seems after that he was exposed to several different faiths. He was careful not to get tied to any group but was leaning toward the Seven Day Adventists. He liked their willingness to watch out for each other but the Saturday service wasn’t high on his list. He thought one must admit to looking over the women members and found them to be rather special. Although they were keen on their religion, he felt no pressure to join but did have an appreciation for their faith.
While he was mulling things over he was at the local Diner one morning when he suddenly remembered he had an appointment at his office at 11:00 AM. He quickly paid his bill and rushed around the corner, only to run into a lady. She went flying and he was pretty embarrassed. Before he could say anything, she started to get up and said: “The least you could do is to help me up.” He started to apologize when she laughed and said, “Did someone steal your watch or do you run everywhere you go.”
He was red-faced by then but managed to say, “Are you hurt?” She said: “Just my dignity and a spot I don’t care to mention.” She then started to laugh and said, sticking out her hand: “I’m Nancy battered but my real name is Nancy Weatherly.” He couldn’t help it and started to laugh and so did she. They began to talk. Mathew found out she was visiting her friend who lived a short distance away and had stopped for a bite to eat before she drove the last thirty miles. He took a chance and asked her if she would mind if he could see her again. She hesitated, and he said, “By the way, I’m Mathew Young. “I could introduce you to several people who know me here and take you to my office and introduce you to my secretary. What do you think?” She replied, “You have already knocked me down and I got up. Perhaps I can take another chance.” They both laughed and headed for his office. He introduced her to his secretary, Mary. Mary said his client was waiting in his office. Jack was an old friend of Mathew who explained to him that he had just met Nancy and would he mind concluding our business. His friend replied, “Nancy is it? I suppose I’m going to be brushed aside for a girl.” He laughed and said we could catch up later. Mathew introduced Jack to Nancy and they had a few pleasantries with Jack concluding: “Glad to have met you, Nancy. Mathew is a little clumsy so I imagine he tripped over your foot or something like that.” He then winked at Mathew and started to laugh on his way out.
Nancy said: “Do you meet many girls with that routine?” Mathew said: “Honest to God, Nancy, you’re the first one.” Nancy decided to hang around with Mathew for a while and used his phone to call her friend to say she would be a little late.
He watched her as she made the call and for the first time got a measure of her. She was about five foot eight with a smile that drew you in plus a pleasant voice, big blue eyes, and naturally curly hair. Nancy had an attractive figure and a way of talking straight at you. She had an accent that suggested she wasn’t from the United States. Mathew asked her if she would care to see some of the buildings and houses he had built and she readily agreed. Being curious, Mathew commented to Nancy that she had an English accent. In the course of their conversation she had mentioned she was born in Washington State and was visiting Oregon to see a close friend. She went on to explain she had just completed an 18 month mission to England and had picked up a bit of an accent. Mathew was surprised and said: “Mission? What kind of a mission?”
She explained she was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons. She had been home three months, and then spoke at length about her mission. Nancy explained she went on her mission when she was 21 years old and now, having completed her mission, was 23 years old. She went on to explain she was about to head to Brigham Young University to complete her education. Mathew looked at her and just off of the top of his head said: “I’m impressed that you have such faith in your religion. I would like to learn more.” She then quietly said: “I would like to help in any way I can, Mathew, but there are two and a half hours travel time between us. Will you be able to find the time it takes to learn more?” He assured her he would make time and then the conversation turned to him. She was amazed that at age 29 he had accomplished so much also. His contracting company was started after he completed a degree in business and now he told her about his relationship with religion and said almost with a whisper he was anxious to learn about this religion of hers.
So it began, and their visits came more frequent as their relationship eased into something more than friendship. Mathew was a quick learner and spent a lot of his time researching the religion. In a quick fashion, he had a handle on the truth as he worked with Nancy and the missionaries and set a date for baptism. Nancy was elated. Finally a month after Mathews baptism, he called her and said he was coming up for the week end and wanted to meet Nancy’s parents. He asked Nancy if he could meet with her ahead of time, to which she agreed. He picked her up at her parents’ home and then, after a brief hello, they left to a nearby park. Sitting there, Mathew looked at Nancy and asked her if she was comfortable with him. She seemed surprised and even more surprised when he said: “I now have a religion and it completes part of me and the other part is you. I never knew I would grow to love someone the way I love you. Your being has engulfed mine and I scarcely can breathe at times for the sure love I have for you.” He then took a ring and asked her to marry him. Their glistening eyes met at that moment as she put her arms around him and said, “You are the dearest thing to me also. I am filled up with love for you and yes, I will marry you.” After a moment Nancy said: “I am so happy Mathew. Now, let’s go tell Mom and dad, then let’s phone your parents and tell them we will be up to see them in the next day or two. One other thing, Mathew, is this. This is the second time you have knocked me over and what a punch, but this time I knew it was coming!”