I read my first romance novel this past week. Let me clarify: it wasn’t actually the first if you count me accidentally reading Fifty Shades of Grey, because I’d seen it on the New York Times Bestseller list, and book one of the Outlander series, because a friend had said the Showtime version was nothing short of delightful.
“De-light-ful,” she’d said slowly, emphasizing each syllable as a warm smile spread across her face – and did her cheeks flame red as she said the word as well?
Delightful is definitely one word for it.
But this time, I’d done my homework. I’d known what I was getting into, and as per the recommendation of one voracious reader of a friend, I’d decided to give Truth or Beard a try. Now, I don’t know if I’ll continue reading this romance series, just as I can’t say with certainty whether I’ll continue as an avid reader of the genre.
But I can say I’ll continue to be a fan of redemption.
There ran throughout the book an undeniable thread of rescue: the modern-day version of the damsel in distress tied to the railroad tracks, saved just in the nick of time by the hero of said story. While my inner feminist seethed at the all-too-common theme of a helpless female being rescued by the strong male savior, I also felt myself relaxing into this grand idea of deliverance.
At one point, I closed my Kindle shut. I shut my eyes, dreaming not of muscle-bound redheaded young men (as the aforementioned damsel finds herself dreaming of, in godforsaken page after page of the book). And by the twinkly lights of the Christmas tree, I hummed a hymn of my youth:
Deliver us, O Lord of Truth,
From speech unbacked by deed,
From lives that by their faithlessness,
Deny our spoken creed.
What does it mean to lean into Truth personified in this season of Advent and Epiphany? What does it mean to be changed by the One who helplessly entered a dirty, derelict barn (or so Western Christianity makes us believe), who from the beginning would change the world like no one before or after him? And what does it mean to lean into a time of waiting – waiting for hope, waiting to be changed in word and deed, waiting for deliverance from all that threatens us?
…so, what does this have to do with redemption? There’s more! Click here and head over to The Mudroom to read the rest of my words. Otherwise, what unlikely pairs – like romance novels and an old hymn – give you a glimpse of redemption in this season of waiting?
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