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WILD AT HEART
CHAPTER TEN
A BEAUTY TO RESCUE
Beauty is not only a terrible thing, it is also a mysterious thing.
Here God and the devil strive for mastery, and the battleground is
the heart of men.  –FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY

You'll be glad every night
That you treated her right.
–GEORGE THOROGOOD
"Treat Her Right"
by Roy Head
and Gene Kurtz

“Cowboy take me away
Closer to heaven and closer to you.”
–DIXIE CHICKS
"Cowboy Take Me Away"
© 1999 by Martie Seidel
and Marcus Hummon

Wild At Heart
by John Eldredge
Thomas Nelson Publishers

Available from Christian Book Stores


Once upon a time (as the story goes) there was a beautiful maiden, an absolute enchantress. She might be the daughter of a king or a common servant girl, but we know she is a princess at heart. She is young with a youth that seems eternal. Her flowing hair, her deep eyes, her luscious lips, her sculpted figure—she makes the rose blush for shame, the sun is pale compared to her light. Her heart is golden, her love as true as an arrow. But this lovely maiden is unattainable, the prisoner of an evil power who holds her captive in a dark tower.

Only a champion may win her, only the most valiant, daring, and brave warrior has a chance of setting her free. Against all hope he comes; with cunning and raw courage he lays siege to the tower and the sinister one who holds her. Much blood is shed on both sides; three times the knight is thrown back, but three times he rises again. Eventually the sorcerer is defeated; the dragon falls, the giant is slain. 

The maiden is his; through his valor he has won her heart. On horseback they ride off to his cottage by a stream in the woods for a rendezvous that gives passion and romance new meaning.

Why is this story so deep in our psyche? Every little girl knows the fable without ever being told. She dreams one day her prince will come. Little boys rehearse their part with wooden swords and cardboard shields. And one day the boy, now a young man, realizes that he wants to be the one to win the beauty. Fairy tales, literature, music, and movies all borrow from this mythic theme. Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Helen of Troy, Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Arthur and Guinevere, Tristan and Isolde. From ancient fables to the latest blockbuster, the theme of a strong man coming to rescue a beautiful woman is universal to human nature. It is written in our hearts, one of the core desires of every man and every woman.

I met Stasi in high school, but it wasn't until late in college that our romance began. Up till that point we were simply friends. When one of us came home for the weekend, we'd give the other a call just to "hang out"—see a movie, go to a party. Then one summer night something shifted. I dropped by to see Stasi; she came sauntering down the hall barefoot, wearing a pair of blue jeans and a white blouse with lace around the collar and the top buttons undone. The sun had lightened her hair and darkened her skin and how is it I never realized she was the beautiful maiden before?
    We kissed that night, and though I'd kissed a few girls in my time I had never tasted a kiss like that. Needless to say, I was history. Our friendship had turned to love without my really knowing how or why, only that I wanted to be with this woman for the rest of my life. As far as Stasi was concerned, I was her knight.
    Why is it that ten years later I wondered if I even wanted to be married to her anymore? Divorce was looking like a pretty decent option for the both of us. So many couples wake one day to find they no longer love each other. Why do most of us get lost somewhere between "once upon a time" and "happily ever after"? Most passionate romances seem to end with evenings in front of the TV. Why does the dream seem so unattainable, fading from view even as we discover it for ourselves? Our culture has grown cynical about the fable. Don Henley says, "We've been poisoned by these fairy tales." There are dozens of books out to refute the myth, books like Beyond Cinderella and The Death of Cinderella.
    No, we have not been poisoned by fairy tales and they are not merely "myths." Far from it. The truth is, we have not taken them seriously enough. As Roland Hein says, "Myths are stories which confront us with something transcendent and eternal." In the case of our fair maiden, we have overlooked two very crucial aspects to that myth. On the one hand, none of us ever really believed the sorcerer was real. We thought we could have the maiden without a fight. Honestly, most of us guys thought our biggest battle was asking her out. And second, we have not understood the tower and its relation to her wound, the damsel is in distress. If masculinity has come under assault, femininity has been brutalized. Eve is the crown of creation, remember? She embodies the exquisite beauty and the exotic mystery of God in a way that nothing else in all creation even comes close to. And so she is the special target of the Evil One; he turns his most vicious malice against her. If he can destroy her or keep her captive, he can ruin the story.

Eve's Wound
Every woman can tell you about her wound; some came with violence, others came with neglect. Just as every little boy is asking one question, every little girl is, as well. But her question isn't so much about her strength. No, the deep cry of a little girl's heart is am I lovely? Every woman needs to know that she is exquisite and exotic and chosen. This is core to her identity, the way she bears the image of God. Will you pursue me? Do you delight in me? Will you fight for me? And like every little boy, she has taken a wound as well. The wound strikes right at the core of her heart of beauty and leaves a devastating message with it: No. You're not beautiful and no one will really fight for you. Like your wound, hers almost always comes at the hand of her father.

A little girl looks to her father to know if she is lovely. The power he has to cripple or to bless is just as significant to her as it is to his son. If he's a violent man he may defile her verbally or sexually. The stories I've heard from women who have been abused would tear your heart out. Janet was molested by her father when she was three; around the age of seven he showed her brothers how to do it. The assault continued until she moved away to college. What is a violated woman to think about her beauty? Am I lovely? The message is, No ... you are dirty. Anything attractive about you is dark and evil. The assault continues as she grows up, through violent men and passive men. She may be stalked; she may be ignored. Either way, her heart is violated and the message is driven farther in: you are not desired, you will not be protected, no one will fight for you.-...continues


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