Friday, August 26, 2005


I just finished reading Jane Eyre for the second time. It has been many years since the last time and it was all fresh to me again. It is coined on the back cover as being "one of the finest novels in English Literature" and I give a hearty AMEN to that. :-) It takes you on a roller-coaster of emotion through the darkness and despair of abuse, to the hope and joy found in the sweetness of genuine friendship.

I was carried effortlessly from cover to cover, feeling an intimate acquaintance with Jane, who narrates the story herself. Though the second half of the novel is definitely a romance, the book is so much more and makes great statements about intellect, equality and relationship.

Relationships is what is on my mind tonight, and what this novel has caused me to deeply ponder. As I read Jane Eyre, it was apparent that such a thing was of great worth. Indeed, in that timeframe they had not television, radio nor other diversions to occupy their time. They had only each other. The picture framed of the evening time is arresting in a day and age of technology, business and endless activity. Sitting by the fire, knitting, reading and truly enjoying the company of another....these things are a treasure! Surely society today, with all of her handmaidens of ease, should be able to relax in the evenings; to joy in the company of others and release the burden of intended accomplishments for things more eternal.

The relationship between Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester was extraordinary in that what they loved about each other was of the mind and character. Indeed they each fell far short of physical beauty. Yet they retained an extended delight in one anothers company, and truly loved each other.

As Christians, we should delight ourselves in the Lord, knowing that true joy and sweetness lie within that intimacy.

I am struck tonight with the thought that delighting in the Lord is more than just a closed door time in which a heart is laid bare before Him. It is more than reading the Word daily and praying for others. It is more than performing acts of loving service for others, though such things are certainly noble and right endeavors.

Delighting in the Lord is seeking to really know the heart of another; smiling at them with all of the joy within; and letting the grace of God pour out of that delight.

Delighting in the Lord is learning to love what others love and deciding to let go of whatever great urge of accomplishment takes you over; simply to enjoy another's presence.

Tonight I sat on the veranda, enjoying the children as they rode their tricycles up and down and around me. I delighted in their smiles and gave horsey rides on my knee with zeal and abandon. I did not watch the clock, nor speak of what needed to be done. But Lord knows there need to be more times like this!

O, Lord, I need You! Take away my resounding gongs and clanging cymbols! Let me be still and know Your charity. Let me suffer long with others...


  1. For a good laugh, I suggest you read "The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde. It's great. And if you liked Jane Eyre, you'd love Fforde's first book.

  2. I think the only way to fully love the lord is to love people. Too many times we get self in the way, then that is not loving others, but loving self more-- which another form of adultery--not putting God first.The only way we love God is through people. We hate people--we hate God. Enjoy your comments--

  3. I am struck by another relationship -- that of Isaac and Rebekah. Abraham wanted a wife for his son. What was the servant looking for? A wife who would serve. Not just the bare minimum. Not just giving the servant a drink. Giving the CAMELS a drink too. She gave above and beyond the call of duty. Hey? Is that what God wants of us too?

  4. I read Jane Eyre.....many, many years ago, and probably more than once. But for the life of me I don't remember anything about it. I recall only the name. Help me out here???

  5. Here is something I scraped from Amazon because I was too lazy to write my own summary right now!

    "Young Jane, orphaned at an early age, is grudgingly taken-in by her Aunt, Mrs. Reed, who seems to despise the child. The Reed children are spoiled rotten, and the eldest son is somewhat of a sadist who abuses his young cousin terribly. Aunt Reed always finds a reason to blame Jane for the household's ills. When the boy takes his torture too far and Jane attempts to defend herself, her aunt has her locked in the room where her uncle died, terrifying the poor girl into hysteria. Unwilling to care for the girl any longer, Mrs. Reed packs her off to the harsh Lowood School, a miserable charitable institution which is more like a prison than a place of education. Lowood's despicable headmaster, Rev. Brockelhurst, does everything in his power to break Jane's spirit. At one point, when he asks Jane how to avoid going to hell, she defiantly responds, "I must stay well and not die."

    A particularly compassionate teacher recognizes Jane's intelligence and sensitivity and befriends the girl. When Jane graduates she stays to teach at Lowood until her mentor leaves to marry. Jane then decides it is time for a change, and applies for a position as a governess. She is offered a job at the distant Thornfield Manor. Mrs. Fairfax, Thornfield's housekeeper, welcomes her warmly and introduces her to the staff and to little girl who will be her pupil, the precocious Adele. She is not, however, introduced to all the household's inhabitants - especially not to one who inhabits the uppermost floor. Thornfield's owner, Mr. Rochester, (one of my favorite literary heroes), is away when our protagonist arrives, yet it is he who will have a most profound effect on her life - and she on his."