"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

27 May 2005

“Trust Me”

I have been immersed in detective novels the past few days, my usual wind-down from the semester. Sayers, Marsh, and another British woman I’ve never read before – Elizabeth Ferrars. Not knowing the name, I only picked up one of her books, A Legal Fiction, which looked intriguing. When we return to McKay’s, I shall pick up more.

In A Legal Fiction, the protagonist is given plenty of reason to believe that the young woman (a childhood acquaintance) who got him into the mess they are in may well be part of it herself – assault, theft, fraud, and now murder. She has hardly acted forthrightly, much evidence is against her, and now someone gives him a perfectly reasonable explanation of her actions which fits quite well with her involvement. So . . . he immediately executes a number of actions which will seal his fate unless she is actually loyal to him.

Hardly rational? When he encounters her again, she tells him she has made a decision to trust someone whom they have both suspected of involvement in the crimes. When he asks why, she says, in effect, “At some point, you just have to decide to trust someone.” He replies, “I’ve come to the same conclusion.”

Of course, here it is a matter of heart ruling head because he is in love with her. (You didn’t expect otherwise, I hope!)

But sometimes we are required to let heart rule head, too. I love the image of Reason as a dwarf in Spenser’s Faerie Queene. There he is, toddling along behind Red Crosse and Una, doing his best to keep up (and yet important; if they leave him behind altogether they do get in trouble), but always subordinate to Faith.

Scripture tells us the mind must be renewed by the Word. But we do not always allow this renewal, and anyway God’s ways are not our ways. And so we fret and fume and try to figure things out and get hot and bothered when the journey, or even what appears to be the destination, seems all wrong.

And all the time He is saying, “Trust Me.” “Be still and listen.” “I will never leave you or forsake you.” “Trust Me.”

If I love Him, I must choose to trust Him. And sometimes, that love for Him will require me to let my heart – fully His – rule my head. May I learn to walk with Him so that trust becomes a way of life. And may I keep the dwarf in his proper place, important, but always subordinate to Faith.


Fieldfleur said...

Wow, that is a cool image: reason as an earnest Dwarf trying to keep up. He would be bad as a Giant, but he's good as a little annoying (not sure if Spencer made him that!) presence which we acknowledge and listen to as a form of guide.
Hmmm.... maybe your protagonist can fend off reckless love by stooping to hear the mumbling of the Dwarf. :)
That blend of faith and reason is often hard. Head / heart corresponds to love God with heart/soul and mind. I like that prescribed balance.
Have a super weekend!

alaiyo said...

Thanks, Teri! I've been enjoying your writing lately, by the way, but no time to respond to much -- do know that you are encouraging me continually by your thoughtful remarks.