The last several months have reminded me that I may just need to slow down. So many books I read are non-fiction and make me think about things like eating more sunflower seeds, the benefits of probiotics, or how to organize the junk drawer.
But, one of these non-fiction books reminded me to read fiction. Sometimes it's hard to figure out “What makes you happy,” but I used to enjoy Jane Austen--so I dusted off a book with three of her works and started with Northanger Abbey.
As an INFJ, it was reassuring to read about someone else's complex feelings in a chapter devoted to the heroine deciding if she should go on a carriage ride or a walk, where the companions and previous engagements were of utmost importance. After Northanger Abbey was Sense and Sensibility. Short chapters and non-smutty work with hard to decipher words and thoughts urged me on to Austen's most famous work--Pride and Prejudice.
At first, I wasn't thrilled. The mother, Mrs. Bennet, was irritating and I remembered reading this before. But, I kept going.
Within the first several chapters, Ms. Elizabeth Bennet, the witty heroine of the work, met the wealthy Mr. Darcy. She found him to be proud and arrogant and developed a prejudice against him. Although he was proud, he kept on being around her, watching her, and trying to converse with her. After Austen-style twists and turns, he shocked her and asked her to marry him.
But, she said no. She told him what she thought he was like. The next day, he handed her a letter describing why he had made certain choices or acted certain ways since they'd known each other. But, she still wasn't sure.
They didn't see each other for half a year, but things kept on happening that showed her what he was really like. He saved her whole family from disgrace by doling out money to a man who was in a shady relationship with her sister so they would marry. Mr. Bingley, his friend who had liked her pretty older sister Jane, came back to woo her-- even though Mr. Darcy had originally pulled Mr. Bingley away from her. And he came to visit. Finally, he asked her a second time to marry him. This time, she said yes.
Timothy Keller, an American pastor, theologian and Christian apologist said, “Jesus is the underling reality to which all stories point, breaking into our world.” Could it be? Did Jane Austen point to Christ in Pride and Prejudice? I believe that in Mr. Darcy, she did.
Mr. Darcy, who was so wealthy, stooped down and fell in love with someone below his class.
Jesus, fully God, became human and loved us so much that he died for us and then came back to life, defeating death.
Mr. Darcy saved Elizabeth's family from the disgrace her sister almost brought upon them, and he saved Elizabeth and gave her a better home.
Jesus saved us from this evil world in which we live (Ephesians 1:7 NIV) and gives us hope of a better, heavenly home.
Mr. Darcy redeemed the situation between his friend, Mr. Bingley, and Elizabeth's sister, Jane.
Jesus redeemed us back to God. When he died on the cross, he took the punishment for the bad things we have done so God can forgive us and we can be his children.
So, if you are a solid Mr. Darcy fan, consider checking out Jesus Christ—a man who rescued you and offers you life. He came down from heaven to die so we can be children of the One who made us, knows us, and most of all, loves us.
To see how writer J.R.R. Tolkien explained the gospel in light of fairy tales, check out:
"If Mama's not happy, no one's happy!" What Brings You Happiness is a blog designed to encourage you to take better care of yourself so you can take better care of others. Click on the categories below to find how I've dealt with various situations in light of who I am.