Thursday, November 4, 2010
Why Do These Hit Me So Deeply?
I mean, Golden's an adept writer. Her plots are strong, this latest probably the strongest. Her characters are unique and interesting. Her settings pop to life. I loved the French court in books I and II and yet found myself completely charmed by the rolling Pennsylvania countryside and quaint colonial town in book III. While I normally prefer what I would term "literary fiction" to basic romantic historicals, these books have managed to touch me on a very deep, emotional and spiritual level in a way that few others have.
Of course that leaves me wondering, "Why?"
I think what it really comes down to is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Golden's writing always was and always will be a ministry. She pulls no punches about that. In addition to being a writer, she is also a pastor. Early in her writing career, she focused on nonfiction until she discovered that fiction is even a stronger way to share Biblical truths. And she couldn't be more right about that. I can't imagine that a sermon or a nonfiction book could ever touch me so deeply.
The journey of the main character, Bridget Barrington, sincerely resonated with me. While I'm not the daughter of a rich colonial landowner arranged to marry a scoundrel, I truly related with her struggle to do what was right. She wanted to please her parents and do what was correct in the eyes of society, yet everything in her heart screamed against it. So often I struggle with religious rules and expectations that don't seem to match what God has planted in my heart. So often I struggle to understand the difference between relying on my own strength to do what is right and learning to rest in God's strength. And much like Bridgett would withdraw into her magical hideaway in the woods or into her own imagination, I often find myself seeking to escape rather than facing and dealing with the hard realities in my life.
Just like Bridget, I long to reach that place where my heart is totally free, not only when I'm dancing or in my secret place with God, but all day every day. This book has become a part of my journey, and for that I am eternally grateful.