Lately I have been rereading a book called "A Stitch in Time." It is a compilation of 4 short books on related themes of falling in love during the pioneering "Old West" days. As I was reading, another reason for my love of fiction jumped off the page: I learn things about myself and life from the experiences of the fictional characters. That may seem absurd to some people. But I have had some amazing Christian role models who only lived in the pages of fiction.
Taking her hands in his, he looked into her sweet, heart-shaped face. "I'm sorry I was such an idiot when you told me how you feel. To be honest, I've been struggling with the same emotion toward you."
Her wide eyes glistened. "I don't understand what you mean. Why struggle? Am I that repulsive?"
"Repulsive?" In a flash, he released her hands and slipped his arm around her waist. She didn't resist as he pulled her close and kissed her trembling lips.
Okay, some would read that part and think, "Oh how typically romantic." Others may think, "Ahhh, that is so perfect." And no doubt, these statements and many others are true.
But my thoughts were stuck on one phrase, "She didn't resist as he" She trusted him enough to let him do whatever he was planning. The book doesn't say that she wanted him to kiss her or that she expected him to kiss her. It says, they were having a misunderstanding and he reached for her. In a perfect romance the two characters trust each other and know each other so well that they react well in each situation and it goes "right."
But, I'm not as trusting. In a misunderstanding, if that person reached to give me a hug (not to mention, a kiss) I would automatically pull back and resist. I wouldn't even think about it, I would just react.
This fictional character thought she was being rejected for being ugly. She thought she was not good enough and not appealing enough. I would have felt hurt and maybe defensive, not trusting and compliant. Maybe that is just me.
The whole section brings to mind the topic of trust. Do we draw others to us and allow ourselves to be drawn toward others? Or do we isolate ourselves? And how healthy is that?
As I look toward physical health and healing, I find I must also seek emotional and mental healing. One area I need to heal is my ability to trust others. To live on the defensive, always alert to offense and hurt, it is a tense and frustrating way of life. It makes me an angry person who is always finding what I expect, hurt and offense. When what I really desire is goodness and peace, gentleness and love, joy and contentment. These can be found too, if I am alert to watch for them.
So today, I seek to trust others and look for the good in every situation.