Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hopeless Romantic

The Lord has really been dealing with me about my hopeless romanticism. "Hopeless" being the operative word.

Growing up a wussy little black kid I read a lot of sad poetry that promoted the futility of life. Okay, some of this poetry might have been affected. . . but many of these poets truly had crappy lives. And some of the Christian poets, such as Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson, and Gerard Manley Hopkins seemed never to have won in their battle against despair, melancholy, bi-polarism, illness, idolatrous worship of the creature more than the Creator, etc. In short, they died unhealed, leaving me with a kind of idea of Jesus as the "pale Galilean" who was romantic simply because he lost.

This kind of thing is dangerous because it not only teaches one not to hope, it primes the soul to believe that in the long run the prayer will not be answered, all is impossible, and God will not win. The Lord has been telling me to work on this spiritual stronghold. The stronghold of romantic despair that I indoctrinated myself with when I was a kid.

Another indoctrination I have to work against is the "romantic" part of the "hopeless romantic" phrase. That's one of the reasons I dislike Christian fiction. There is that kind of sentimental attachment to romance. Oftentimes one reads a story and one feels as if the story is really a woman's masturbatory dream of what a perfect hero in her life would've been. It's a kind of noble Christian fantasy of the land, the perfect man, the sense of destiny.

I feel God is very understanding of all this but he doesn't want us to indulge in vain imaginations. One must remember the truest book, the truest mirror, the truest romance, the truest imagination is of spiritual things.

I'll be posting some of my favorite poets in the upcoming days. You'll see what I have to battle against.
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