Girls Write Out
Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last week on "The Biggest Loser", Heba said that her husband didn't mind giving her the chance to compete in the finals. Vote for her. Naturally, not many did. She lost 16% to her husband's 84%.

I admire anyone who can work that hard to change their lives. Seriously, all of those people on that show amazed me. It was just the weight loss, it was that they looked HEALTHY. They beamed. And I think it was because they overcame all the lies they have heard about themselves to blossom into who they really are. That is beautiful.

Last night, I heard Heba's truth. She had brought them both to the show so that they could have a chance for a healthy pregnancy. That is beautiful. I can identify with that. I would have voted for that. Throwing her husband under the bus so she can compete? Not so much.

It got me to thinking about writing and characters. No one is going to identify with someone who will sacrifice another for their own good. It's emotionally impossible -- because it's ungodly, unloving and downright rude. Great characters sacrifice themselves for the good of another. But why? Why does revenge feel so good in a novel? I mean, it's supposed to be the Lord's, we know that...and yet revenge can be a little heroic. Who does not cheer when Dantes takes Danglars down in the "Count of Monte Cristo"?

When "Tess" (of the D'urbervilles) takes a knife to the man who raped her, you have to admit, there's a little pleasure in that, and wow, does that make you feel wrong. LOL But after you've watched her bury her baby outside the church cemetery (they wouldn't let her bury a "bastard" there.) Hardy ups the stakes until YOU want to kill the man.

Tess is very anti-God when her rapist comes to tell her of his conversion, and his "ministry" and Tess responds, "I can't believe in such sudden things! I feel indignant with you for talking to me like this, when you know--when you know what harm you've done me! You, and those like you, take your fill of pleasure on the earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black with sorrow; and then it is a fine thing, when you have had enough of that, to think of securing your pleasure in heaven by becoming converted!"

His answer a few lines later, "Well," he declared, a resentment beneath his words seeming ready to spring out at a moment's notice, "God forbid that I should say I am a good man -- and you know I don't say such a thing. I am new to goodness, trutly, but new comers see furthest sometimes."

Okay, if you don't want to hurt him yet, you are far less human than me. Why does it feel so good to watch pride fall? When we have enough of it ourselves?

So you think he's come back to apologize, make things right when he meets her a few days later. "Tess -- don't look at me so -- I cannot stand your looks! There were never such eyes, surely, before Christianity or since!. I won't lose my head; I dare not. I own that the sight of you has waked up my love for you, which, I believed, was extinguished with all such feelings. But I thought that our marriage might be a sanctification for us both, 'The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband.' I said to myself."

So what is it about revenge that feels satisfying?
posted at 11:04 AM  
  Comments (5)
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At 12:48 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

It's the sense of justice, I think. In the real world we often see no justice.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

And that stinks, doesn't it? It's like we wanted Michelle to win because she did things right. It's hard to watch the rude prevail. I guess that's what Ecclesiastes is all about. LOL

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Yeah, that's what I was going to say Colleen, justice.

I don't think we understand God's justice, and He will bring justice apart from wrath.

It's a faith/trust issue, I suppose.

Good thoughts, Kristin.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Deena said...

Honestly, I think it boils down to pride. We say justice, but don't we really want it on OUR terms? I want the person who hurt (fill in the blank) to pay, and THIS is how!

Vengeance in our hearts proves we haven't died to self yet. God is our defender and our avenger...and His justice is perfectly measured out.

I'm preaching to myself here, ladies--been hurt DEEPLY by a member of our congregation, and I want my pound of flesh, believe me.

But in the end, I will feel less of God's Spirit if I get it...and more satisfaction in myself. When I boil it down, it isn't worth it.

Defense of insanity by need for vengeance, anyone??

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

I think it's impossible to fully get over that, without daily prayer and looking to Him, don't you think?

I mean, is there a one of us out there who wouldn't want to kill Adam Walsh's killer if given the shot? I know, some of you are too young to remember that, but I will never forget his father crying and saying, "They found my baby's head." I can't help it. I hope that villain is rotting in hell. I'm glad it's "solved" officially though.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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