Beautiful blue eyes. A ravishing smile. And the rest was history.
It was a moment I’ll never forget. Let me provide the backdrop.
June of 2000, I arrived at Christ for the Nations Institute (CFNI) in Dallas, Texas. It was the first time I’d been to the Lone Star State. My heart brimmed with excitement. For six years I prayed, “Lord, can I attend CFNI?” Finally the Lord said, “Yes!” and two weeks later I was enrolled. Furthermore all the courses that summer were on the subject of prayer—much to my soul’s delight.
One morning I sat enraptured in Henry Holland’s class, The Priestly Role of an Intercessor. As usual I sat up front. I didn’t want to miss anything.
That day—a day I’ll never forget as long as I live—someone in the back asked a question. As I glanced over my left shoulder, my eyes beheld a wonder: A blue-eyed beauty with a ravishing smile, smiling at me!
Suddenly I felt the flutter of butterflies in my stomach. Sweaty palms ensued. And my pulse spiked. I’m convinced that my heart even skipped a beat, or two!
Oh, the power of a ravishing smile!
As my heart raced, I glanced to my right and left to ensure that it was ME that she smiled at.
From that point on whenever someone asked a question in class, I’d look over my shoulder in HER direction. I was totally suave about it. Though to my disappointment, I didn’t catch her gaze again.
But her previous gaze caught me. That smile elicited euphoric feelings in just a fifth of a second. I couldn’t erase it. It had me thinking. Wondering.
“Who is that girl?”
Even as I pen these words, the image of this bombshell is indelibly marked upon the neural vault of my rich memory bank. Little did I know that moment would forever alter the trajectory of my life—and it all started with a ravishing smile!
A few days later on a Friday afternoon, I told my mom on the phone that I had to meet this drop dead beauty in my class. That week I noticed her around campus. In chapel she exuded a passion for the Lord. In the cafeteria I observed her eating with international students. I surmised that she might also be from abroad. And she smiled a lot.
That evening as I grabbed my backpack, my full-blooded Italian roommate, Massimiliano, asked, “Brian, what are you doing tonight?”
My answer was simple. “Since I’m at Christ for the Nations Institute,” I answered. “I’m going to the library to study!”
“Oh, no, no, no!” retorted Max with flailing hands, “You’re going with me!”
Puzzled, I eyed him suspiciously, “And where are you going?”
“Mary Martha!” he thundered with a twinkle in his eyes.
That was a women’s dormitory on campus. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to accompany him. Somehow though he convinced me to join him and his friend, Scott. Max, as we called him, was quite outgoing and loved to socialize, especially with the ladies.
WHO IS THAT GIRL
As Max, Scott, and I sat on the second level patio area at Mary Martha, we enjoyed the nice summer Texan evening. The dormitory was a former apartment complex, shaped like the letter “U”. Situated below was an inviting pool. Plants and small trees adorned the courtyard. Scattered about were students huddled in their own animated conversations.
Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted. On the opposite end was that girl. The moment she stepped out of her room, my heart raced once again. Immediately I recognized the matching light blue blouse and skirt from class earlier that day.
Leaning over, I inquired of Max, “Who is that girl?”
To my horror, he didn’t respond exactly as I anticipated.
“Ana Marie!” his voice bellowed across the complex, “Ana Maria, come sit with us!”
As her gaze swiveled in our direction, a silent glare ensued. She proceeded to walk around us without a word uttered. Max continued pleading to her to join us.
She returned to her room. Not one word spoken to us. The silence was deafening. My hopes dashed. This was the girl whose ravishing smile made butterflies flap unabated just days before. I went from the high of a ravishing smile to the low of a silent glare.
My heart sank. The flutter of butterflies within gave way to a sinking sensation.
Whatever chance I had to make a favorable impression, was ruined. After a few minutes of utter deflation, I grabbed my backpack and murmured, “Guys, I’m going to the library.”
As I walked towards the main entrance to the courtyard, I passed her door. At that moment, a thought jolted my mind, “What do I have to lose?”
I paused. I eyeballed her door. Finally I turned aside, took a deep breath. And I knocked.
The door swung open. Astonishment was written all over her face. She stood holding a loaf of banana nut bread fresh out of the oven.
“Hello, I’m Brian Hume.” I said, with a smile of my own. “I think we’re in the same class together.”
For two hours we stood there. The two short hours we chatted seemed like twenty minutes. What a fascinating woman. Her name was Aneta. A deep passion for her Lord was undeniably evident. I learned how she met Christ through an American missionary in Poland. A remarkable joy emanated from her unlike anyone I’d ever met. Though her English was a bit broken, her laughter was a refreshing stream to one’s own soul.
As I stood there, I could sense upon Aneta’s life what I had felt so tangibly in the secret place of prayer before the Lord concerning my own life: A deep sense of destiny as one called of God to the nations.
I’ll admit, I was smitten.
Oh, that ravishing smile returned. And my life was never the same again.
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