Okay so my thinking of “for such a time as this” extends far beyond just Ms. Esther. I really do believe that God brings things into our lives for particular journeys. No this is not everything happens for a reason or just the beginning of “For Good” ie. “People come into our lives for a reason…” Nope. I’m talking about reading that book or hearing that song or getting that email or reading that billboard or whatever at just the right time and that be a little message to keep you hanging on and keeping on.
So I’ve never totally loved the raunchy romances of life. I am one of those people that like Christian romances. Yep, that aisle in the bookstores that says Christian fiction welp I used to make a home there. Okay, I’m out. There’s a whole shelf in Wesley dedicated to these treasures of mine. Love Robin Jones Gunn. Love Linda Chaikin. Love, love, love them! When I was at Emory some of the students gave me a Christian dating book in tribute to these crazy books of mine even though I was long married at that point. There’s something about a good story and the Lord of all driving it that makes me happy – I like both the passion and the faith. Now my grandmother loved books. Good golly I can’t even remember a time til her dying day that she didn’t have a book beside her. Mine go with me in my gigantic pocketbooks. I have no idea how she kept hers so neat except that she probably didn’t have as much candy and kid junk in her bags. But Ganny liked all sorts of book – including the occasional I would say trashy romance. So there was a time that I picked up The Other Boleyn Girl on a flight and thought what in the world is all this sex and craziness? Such is the reaction when you grow up reading the Christian versions… However, now in this stage of life when such things cease to surprise me anymore, I have found a new at least so-so feeling towards this author that blends history and romance.
My brother Caleb just earned his history degree from the University of South Carolina and his last paper was on Richard III – interesting guy. This is the Richard portrayed in Gregory’s book The White Queen and the one who may or may not have murdered the two princes in the tower. I know I’ve lost half of you now, but I promise to get to the rambling point (some of you are like – dude this is how she preaches – she just needs to get to the point). Anyway, I hated that book in a lot of ways. Loved the romance, loved the survival, but hated it for that mother to lose her children like that and her husband and all that yuck. In the meantime though I picked up another one of her books, The Constant Princess. This one is about Katherine of Aragon. Interesting story. I’m less than 150 pages into it and I already want to stop reading it because at this point everything’s happy and knowing the little bit about British history that I do, it ain’t going to be happy long. What I got though for this time and in this place is that this lady and many before her knew how to survive. She’s a daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand and much of her identity is that she is this royal princess that’s going to kick butt. (Okay Renee I know you don’t like when I use butt, but it is what it is.) This queen stuff is crazy and I wholly believe that this whole royal thing in these books is crazy and that the whole business was completely dirty, but I think about what my brother Josh writes to us in letters and what I read from in this past week’s lectionary from 1 Kings. We are children of the Most High God.
We are children of the Most High God. That’s not a phrase that I’ve particularly jived with over the years, but it’s growing on me in this context. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to start walking around with a long train and royal septer, I want to say bahahahaha to that. But it does mean that I can do this. I am a child of God and that’s all I have to be. period. Philippa Gregory may not speak to you and heck she may not speak to me again, but I think it’s absolutely amazing that we have a God that is not someone that looks at us from afar but is a God that gets messy and personal and in the mix with us and somehow in the midst of our insane little worlds breaks in and gives us what we need to keep going, no matter how random that may be.
Don’t know if I’ll finish the book but I got what I needed for the journey.