“O Love That Will Not Let Me Go…”

There is a song I’ve always loved called “Rise up O Men of God.”  Any readers here familiar with this?

Rise up O men of God

Have done with lesser things.

Give heart and soul and mind and strength

To serve the King of Kings.

I hear it in my head song by a men’s chorus, and nearly gives me goosebumps.

Actually, there is a line that always makes me shiver (even just sitting here thinking of it), and because of that reaction I’ve always wanted to find a moment I could write with that same emotional intensity.

And tonight I finished a book that did what I want to do (Impossible.  Definitely a 16+ book).  It’s in the last two lines of the following verse.

Rise up O men of God

The Church for you doth wait.

Her strength unequal to the task

Rise up and make her great.

In so many stories what moves me is not the triumphant victory, the hero conquering against all odds.  It is the moment the hero/ine realizes he or she is inadequate alone, and then doesn’t have to do it alone.

While I was writing my second or third Lindorm draft, I came across a blog that was quoting from the book Pain and Pretending.  This summed so well for me the other half of my heart, and you can see now (if you couldn’t before) why relationship and respect are such major elements of what I value in any story.

…I don’t think the deepest hunger of the human heart is to have love for one’s self. Rather, it is to be loved. My goal is not to sit in a room or on a hillside and tell myself how much I love myself. My goal is to mean something to the people who mean the most to me. My hunger is to have somebody big and powerful and important in my life say, “I love you,” and then I will have the confidence that I am loved.

The not-being-alone, the being helped is that confidence.  I think that may be why I hang so continually on the word provision. I make lists of things sometimes (I need to do it more often), that show how perfectly God is helping me.  Or I marvel at the precisely suited way He allows me to help someone else.

And my heart *rankles* at the imposed story lines that would refuse that to anyone, or pretend commitment isn’t an essential part of security and happiness.

(I’ll name names if you don’t know what I’m referring to and actually care.)

God makes Himself known to any who have eyes to see, and I love seeing the reflection of his love in stories of selflessness and (even) stubbornness.

O Love that will not let me go…

3 thoughts on ““O Love That Will Not Let Me Go…”

  1. I appreciate this feeling. I also get frustrated at so many books where the hero “doesn’t need” anyone else.

    Although, I’m curious to hear your specific examples.

  2. I know the song. It’s wonderful!

    We humans tend to flock to the do-it-yourselfers, the independent type. We’ve been told that this is the best way to be. (Or maybe it’s just what I’ve seen?) But it’s so unrealistic. I think that’s why I like blogging so much, in a sense, it’s not just me against the world.

  3. Oops— Sorry, E, I forgot to fill in here.

    This is (nearly) a cut-and-paste of a rant I did on my 2009 books page after reading Forestwife (March 21) and its conclusion that the young couple was to remain unmarried for (to me) indefinite reasons of “duty” and “sacrifice” that had to do with being available to the people around them.


    My core heartbreak was here– that of a construct of identity denying an individual the opportunity to marry and enjoy all of love and relationship.

    This has troubled me significantly everywhere I’ve seen it (Anakin Skywalker, Angel– the vampire-dude). It is the antithesis of God’s design– that holy relationship is a downfall, an Achilles’s heel; rather than a source of growth and strength. It makes me angry in a way that few “random” story elements can.

    Most alternate views of reality, or moments of sin, within a story I’ve “learned” to obsorb within their own context. That is, while I recognize the wrongness of an element or situation I rarely have the more visceral reaction that I get when faced with a gut-wrong relationship.

    The book Dragonflight is an example of another angle of this (I wasn’t able to finish it). The couple marries, sort-of, but they maintain their walls and personal defenses. When one at last attempts to be vulnerable, the attempt is destroyed. Even knowing that there are real relationships like this, I can’t spend time with them: it is soul-rape.

    I recognize there is sometimes a particular calling to singleness, but it seems to me that God (not being interested in conflict for its entertainment value, as merely human authors are) would not provide an honorable love-match and a legitimate binding of heartstrings then require isolation.

    Anyway, that was the long answer. Short answer: Forestwife, Starwars, Buffy/Angel, and DragonFlight.

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