Saturday, November 22, 2008

Not so easily won, nor kept

I recently re-watched the adaptation of Daphne DuMaurier's Frenchman's Creek which was shown on Masterpiece Theatre here in the States a few years back (yes, I bought it on VHS). I have no idea how faithful it is to the book since I find myself unable to read DuMaurier, though I have enjoyed several adaptations of her novels (Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel and Frenchman's Creek). In this adaptation, in the scene I recall, Lord Rockingham dismisses Dona as having been easily won by her husband, the good Harry. Dona replies, "Not so easily won, nor kept".

That scene occurred to me today as I sat here, thinking about being bought, being won, submitting to those in authority, and the rewards we reap when we submit (even if our submission isn't always joyfully given). You see, we are enduring yet another "employee satisfaction" survey here in the hospital lab where I work. I've lost count of how many we've done and yet the management keeps asking the same questions, receiving the same answers and they seem to think an extra meal ticket here or there, a free movie ticket now and again are just the band aid needed to assuage our dissatisfaction with being left short and unsupported. To their little prezzies I can only reply, "thank you" and yet I cannot be bought. I could be won, but never bought. On the other hand, what I have won in my ten years here is the love and friendship of some of my co-workers. I am blessed to count among my friends some of my co-workers whom others consider to be the most difficult.

But then my mind returns to Lady Dona and her pirate, Aubrey. And, not least, to her good Harry who plays a dangerous gambit in order to win back his love. Harry wins in the end, and the pirate, who said he never wanted to be tied to anyone, loses the only woman who had ever won his heart. Terribly romantic dreck, isn't it?

I've known a pirate or two -- but now I'm waiting for my Harry to play his gambit. It won't be easy, but it is his to play, his battle to wage. And once won, I wouldn't take the risk of Dona's betrayal. No, it's been too long a battle for me to risk the victory. The more I understand about being a godly woman, the more I understand a woman's need to be won by a man who is worth giving herself to in submission, in marriage, the more I desire it. I know it goes deeply against the grain of our fallen natures and the world's siren call of self-sovereignty. But it is one of God's paradoxes that when we give ourselves away, when we seem weakest to the world, that is just when we are strongest.

The world will call a woman who is submitted to her husband a fool. I only want to ask: If marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church, his Bride; we know he purchased that Bride at the cost of his own life's blood, if that is so, doesn't the mirror of that sacrifice presented in human marriage require a costly battle, a victory won and a willing submission, the former by man and the latter by woman if they are to be husband and wife?

And, until that victory is won, I have the abiding peace and joy of knowing I belong to Christ and to my friends.

1 comment:

Michael said...

The world will call a woman who is submitted to her husband a fool.

Well, the world is just plain greedy, what can I say. It has an enormous company of fools dancing to its Pied Piper tune already, and isn't satisfied seeing anyone quietly marching to a different Drummer. Everywhere you look, people are making total fools of themselves, evidently because it is the bandwagon they've all been trained to jump on.

“Not so easily won, nor kept.”
“I could be won, but never bought.”

Good lines!

Enjoyed hearing your thoughts.