Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fairy Tale

Once upon a time a young princess of noble heritage confided in me a dream. Often in the night, she said, she would find herself in some terrible danger. Always in the dream she would whistle for Shadowfax, who would come galloping across the hilltop to bear her away. If the noble steed’s speed was not enough she would cry for Aragorn, ever strong to save her.

As I listened the dream unfolded as a vision, if you will, a God-bestowed image of her own dignity, her worthiness of an Aragorn’s love.

Over time many princes crossed into her realm, and each was measured against her strong dream. Aragorn, the hero, the ever-wise and strong warrior whose very presence turns whole peoples to life-giving hope, would come and stand beside the suitor. The image was powerful to protect her from frivolous, empty young princes of lesser character, lesser capacity for courageous, tenacious love.

But as years passed this larger-than-life hero became a block. Never a mis-step. No weakness, frailty or uncertainty. The princess could see no other man who fit the measure, not even her own noble daddy.

For the princess regarded Aragorn through Eowyn’s eyes. Lovely, brave, vulnerable Eowyn, for whom Aragorn was knight, completely other, one to adore.

Until finally, one day, the princess noticed that Eowyn was not the one Aragorn could love. His heart belonged to Arwin, the elf-maiden whose gifts, strength and wisdom equaled and sometimes surpassed his own. Arwin, who knew his past and his fears, knew he sometimes longed to flee duty and destiny, and who supported and challenged him so that he became more than he thought he could be. Arwin, who regarded a real human man in strength and in frailty and loved him with her life.

Eowyn, for her part, got over her hero worship of Aragorn and found a better, truer love in the noble Faromir, an equally brave prince of gentler, quieter character. He, too, stood among his people as leader and hero. But Faromir was a man her strength, experience and noble lineage inspired--so that they, too, could love entirely as equals, partners who would enable one another to reach beyond themselves to something higher, to serve well, and to love long and strong.

A wiser princess still watches for her Aragorn, that man of vision for life beyond himself, committed, sacrificially brave and true. She knows herself worthy of such a prince. But she no longer looks for a hero to worship, preferring instead a real man inspired by her dignity and beauty, and who will grow through her as much as she through him.

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