Perhaps our time apart has been good. Maybe you have been filling the space with more excellent reading, with Puritan writers who, though long dead, live on with words that burn themselves onto your soul or with Wodehouse himself, which will make you sadly shake your head at my feeble attempts at humor now that you know what real humor looks like; if that is the case, then by all means, give this blog the nod and enjoy a life of higher reading. I wish you well, and will be joining you shortly. But on the off chance that a few of you have spent my hiatus mindlessly clicking on TicTok videos… knock it off. You’ll rot your brain and probably end up becoming Taylor Swift.
It turns out, dropping a daily writing habit is a lot easier than picking one up and now that I have steeled myself to return to writing, I find myself with an overabundance of possible topics. Where should one begin when returning from spiritual Elba? And is that an awfully presumptuous thing to say? Almost feels like I am inviting another one way trip… but seriously. Should I tell you about how I made Claude Debussy roll over in his grave by improvising over the top of Clair de Lune while the shortest flower girls I have ever not been able to see moseyed and poseyed their way down the aisle at my dear friend’s wedding? Or about that weekend I paid a silly amount of money so that I could sip one drink for two hours, in order that I might make contact with a classy old piano player who I desperately want to hire me to play at his fancy restaurant and how he offered to let me come play at his house, reassuring me that he wasn’t a Bill Cosby type (not understanding that he already told me he plays a Petrof at home and I would quite frankly put up with a lot of Cosby for a chance at playing a Petrof) but instead had me take over for a few songs that night to a packed house and my playing getting piped into the fancy schmancy bathrooms?? Or we could talk about the blood orange buckle.
Have I baited my hook? Will I get a readership back after my stretch of silence? Time will tell, I suppose. But today, I think we need to talk about Una.
The fact is, you can get a lot of play out of the story of St. George and the Dragon. The possibilities are endless, almost embarrassingly so, and I should know. I’ve already done a dragon slaying post. But during my brief (it was, you know. Normal bloggers take 14 years to put up as many words as I have dumped on you since August) absence from the world of words, I have been increasingly struck with the lesser known hero of the plot. The prayerful eye candy and motivator of brave men who find themselves curiously indebted to faerie queens, Una herself.
I am not sure why I never noticed before, but St. George is absolutely filthy with odd help in his battles with the terrorizing dragon, and Una is always in the wings, his attractive companion and lady that needs protecting, but she doesn’t throw rocks or even words of encouragement. She stands by… and prays for him. And thus, he wins.
We write epics about the ones who fight, the ones who fall, the ones who get back up again. We never write epics about the people who fight on their knees… maybe we should. It is often much harder to be the one standing by, watching and praying and feeling helpless, which I rather assume Una did.
I think I have a lot of Unas in my life. It was pointed out to me recently (and wow, I took it just great, she admits sarcastically with something akin to chagrin painting her face) what an extraordinary burden it must be for my husband to bear my physical pain, to be the one standing by and to be entirely unable to relieve me. Given the choice, I would rather be the one bloodied by the fight than the one having to feel inactive… as if that is what prayer was. What a ridiculous assumption. And perhaps I needed the point brought home to me, because during this hiatus, I have found myself suddenly and frequently in Una’s shoes. People I love struggling, being injured, being worried, fighting the dragon they were sent to fight and I am helpless. Not even leaving a bottle of rum on their doorstep would solve the battles they are steeped in.
But Una does not need epics written about her, because she is obeying the epic God of the universe. Obedience is not helpless. It is quite the opposite.
“Stones are not broken except by a constant, diligent use of the hammer; and the stone-breaker must go down on his knees. Use the hammer of diligence, and let the knee of prayer be exercised, and there is not a stony doctrine in revelation that is useful for you to understand that will not fly into shivers under the exercise of faith and prayer. You may force your way through anything with the leverage of prayer.” — Charles Spurgeon
Tighten your grip. There are battles to win.
It is so good to hear you again.