When I moved, about seven years ago, I lost my hardbound copy of _Jane Eyre_.
It meant a lot to me.
A garage sale find, I’d never read the book before.
When at last I ::did:: read it, I fell in love with it and read it three times over the course of a year.
I live by some of its lessons even as I (try to) do by God’s word.
In one particular passage, a lesson addresses forgiveness.
Jane’s aunt, who was cruel to her as a child and ended up putting her in an orphan’s assylum, is on her deathbed.
She remarks to Jane, now grown, that she was born to be her torment.
Jane responds with words of grace,
“Love me, then, or hate me, as you will,” I said at last, “you have my full and free forgiveness: ask now for God’s and be at peace.”
The book continues.
“Poor suffering woman! it was too late for her to make now the effort to change her habitual frame of mind: living she had ever hated me–dying she must hate me still.”
– Jane is saddened by the aunt’s conditions, mental, emotional, & physical.
She is not devastated when Mrs. Reed denies her familial affection for she has built her life well despite its lack.
She is set apart.
In nobility and strength she stands at the bedside after learning of yet another betrayal, forgiving her,
and that inspires me to see those who have wronged me in the same light.
They are the suffering ones, for they deprived themselves, just as Mrs. Reed deprived herself, of a good and healthy relationship that would have sweetened their existence, when it was already so bitter.
I found this hardcover volume in the library bookstore when I found my Harvards.
I didn’t write about it.
I chose to wait.
So I am writing about it now.
Isn’t it beautiful?
Royal blue with gold…
Yet the contents are even more lovely.
Full of wisdom and encouragement for hard times,
This book fills me and equips me to live a successful life with practical tools.
God Bless Currer Bell; Charlotte Brontê.
Two hundred years ago she wrote a book that fills my cup, today it spills out onto others so that they who never knew her, are loved more thoroughly because of her.