Friday, April 29, 2016

For a Man's Ways are Before the Eyes of the LORD

For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
and he ponders all his paths.
(Proverbs 5:21. ESV.)

In continuing with thoughts from yesterday, have you seen the movie “Becoming Jane”? It is about the author Jane Austen. Anyway, the movie is a marvelous work of fiction, and here is why. I recently read one of the many biographies written about Jane Austen. It was Jane Austen by Carol Shields. Yes, I know, biographies can be boring but I really enjoy them and memoirs. But, I am getting off track. The book does mention the relationship between Jane and Mr. Tom Lefroy, as is what the entire movie is about, however it is but a page and a half long. Nothing more than that. The relationship between them was rather short, four weeks, and relatively uneventful. He arrived somewhere between December 1795 and January 1796. They “met only a few times” (Shields, Carol. Jane Austen. 2001. New York: the Penguin Group. p. 49), attended “three or four” balls together (Shields, Carol. Jane Austen. 2001. New York: the Penguin Group. p.51), discussed the book Tom Jones, and then Tom Lefroy left or was sent away. His family, presumably, intervened and Jane never saw him again. Sidebar: A fun fact: Tom’s full name was Thomas Langlois Lefroy (1776-1869 ).

The Jane Austen, UK website
states there are only two letters remaining from this time in Jane’s life. They are both printed on the site. In one of her letters, Jane does say of Tom Lefroy, “I rather expect to receive an offer from my friend in the course of the evening…” So, Jane obviously believed there to be “an attachment”, as one of her novels would read. Lefroy’s oldest daughter is named Jane. Though the movie suggests it is after Jane Austen, the UK website states it is most likely after his mother-in-law, Jane Paul.

In this regard, the movie takes great liberties at filling in the blanks. And, therefore, I feel is a wonderful work of fiction…to be able to build a whole love story around two letters and fragments of history as told by others!

So, what does all of this have to do with God’s word? Nothing directly, exactly. However, for me, it is encouragement. I love how when I need to be encouraged the most, God sends it. All things are His servants (Psalm 118:91) and it comes by way of His own word, biographies, and even notes from dear friends. It’s like running a race, and getting tired out, when along the way there stands someone cheering and inspiring me to continue onward. It’s so lovely.

4 Does not he see my ways
and number all my steps?
5 "If I have walked with falsehood
and my foot has hastened to deceit;
6 (Let me be weighed in a just balance,
and let God know my integrity!)
(Job 31:4-6. ESV.)

13 The LORD looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
(Psalm 33:13-15. ESV.)
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