Sunday, November 21, 2010


I think my blog readers are aware of my Hamlet nuttiness. So, when a book called Ophelia was suggested several times in a row to me, I thought: "well, who knows! I just might like it."

After all, I'm also a Robin Hood nut, and Robin Hood lives on retelling. The truth was, though, that I ended up having to put it down. It wasn't the retelling--it sounded like a really cool idea (Ophelia survives? Sweetness...) and I wanted to see how that worked out. There was something I didn't like, though.

For a long time, the only romance I've really liked was that of people already married. I know, I'm a weird teen. I just think that married couples, especially those in their 50s and beyond, are adorable. Maybe it's just me. But that shows me that they've loved each other enough to stick together for years, decades. It's amazing to me.

I think my first grasping of what love actually is came to me from Lord of the Rings. I remember one night thinking: "I know what love is! It's absolute sacrifice." Frodo loves the Shire; he practically dies for it. Sam loves Frodo; he gives him everything. I easily translated this over to Christ; He died for us. Everyone one of us. Even those of us who reject Him.

I didn't realize it when I started, but Forest of Lies was a journey for me. It was a journey into the deepness of what love is; I had it in my head, Forest of Lies came and taught me from my heart. It came at me from many different angles; there was the love of friends, the love of a man and a woman, and the love of the Creator and His creation. All of them revolved on what God ultimately showed us with the cross. One character died for his friend. Another one endured extreme emotional and physical pain for someone determined to hate him: because he thought it was what God had called him to do. One girl realized what Truth was, realized that she didn't have to earn love from one person; He loved her already, unconditionally. Actually, there were two girls involved. A character, and her author. Robin, Much, and Forest of Lies showed us both.

God is Love. He is also Truth. It wasn't the forest of lies that man claimed; it was full of its faults, both in the humans in it and the story that was told, but there was truth, love, and beauty in there.

No wonder I keep wanting to return to it. God, show me where to go. Is York my next place of Truth? Or should I stay in Sherwood? Or somewhere else entirely? Show me what I need to learn...

I put down Ophelia because I didn't believe it. I don't believe love at first sight. Love takes work, love takes sacrifice. I didn't see any of that. I saw the young emotions. It's not the same thing. I want real. No imitations. This is probably why there are precious few romances I'll tolerate; the world of stories, and therefore love stories, is currently controlled by the world. But after Forest of Lies, do you think I'm going to fall for that?



Anonymous said...

I read that book. But not for very long.... It wasn't the kind of book I wanted to read. On another note, I love the way you explain things ;)

Katie Oostman said...

Nai, you are dead on.

I picked up Ophelia again. After I watched Hamlet and realized there is so much creative license the author takes. Not only does that bother me, but the romance. Oh the romance. I used to be one to read that sort of thing. But that was before I recommitted to Christ. I was looking for cheap novels with quick love. Now I am searching for a love like Christ's. And I've been frustrated because apart from the Bible and LOTR, nobody seems to have that. So all the books I had prized before are worthless. I too saw it in Forest of Lies.

So anyway, I picked up Ophelia again, after foolishly recommending it to you, and despised it. Easy love isn't love. And though she says she fights against lust, she doesn't understand the meaning or true love. Love through it all. And that is immensely dissatisfying. Horrifying, actually. So I must apologize to you Nai. I have changed quite a bit over the last year since I recommended it to you. I am learning that I should not recommend books. Because the only one that should be worth a spot in our hearts is the story of true love. And there is only one perfect example of that.

I am sorry to have offered up something that wasted your time. I should have looked closer.

<3 Inky

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