Romanz

22 04 2010

“She was nothing to look at; not the worst, not the best; just average. And she didn’t do anything outstanding, the kind to make headlines or break records; she did all right at the things she put her hand to. She was neither good nor horrible, but everyone has shame on account of things usually left unsaid, and she was no different. On a crowded side-walk she was a part of the crowd on the side-walk; most would not have noticed one way or another if she was there; but he did. She stopped him in his tracks! The moment she became a thought in his mind, there wasn’t anything else he could think of…”

Pause.

I know it is a little easier to read romance than it is to take in a history lesson, but bear with me. When the Conquering Romans mixed their latin with local dialects, another language known as romanz was formed; it became “the” language to tell stories of knights, dragons, ghosts and battles. Later, “romanz” became “romance” and became associated with “the love story.” In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a group of poets, including Shelley, Byron, Keats, and Wordsworth, were labeled Romantic because they wrote poetry about the same kinds of things as were found in the old stories — noble love, courage…” (thanks wordcentral.com for the info).

Why do we want to write about such things? Do we actually believe in romance? We must; no matter how casual we get about it all, we are still drawn in by the idea. We want to hear that someone went to all lengths to win another; that they sacrificed on behalf of the one they loved; that they lived their whole life holding hands with their one sweetheart no matter the turns in the road or temptations they faced. True-life stories of such devotion get me every time.

Is the language of romance hard-wired in us? If so, why? We press our faces to the window looking for it and it is nowhere in sight.

We know the language of spurned love. We know about unreliable love. We know cheap love. We know disappointing love. We know selfish love. Relationships chug along without any “romanz” anywhere.

Some belief systems teach that one must rid themselves of desire, including the desire for romance. In some ways, that seems simpler. Like the movie “Equalibrium” we think being less emotionally attached to ideas, to be more flat and rational in our thinking would save ourselves and this planet a lot of pain.

The problem is, romance won’t go down without a fight. Romanz insists on reappearing here and there. When it does, we see all that it is. It is demonstrative; it is noble and courageous and sings in the streets.  Romanz stands out in sharp contrast to the cheap imitations and there isn’t a heart on earth that doesn’t want to experience the wonder of unquenchable romanz.

So is romanz in our DNA? I have to think, yes. I think there is a pull towards the ideal that someone out there would lay their life down for you. We want to matter that much.

Listen to this beautiful line and tell me if this isn’t poetry to the ears:

God shows and clearly proves His own love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

Jesus, so full of romanz – nobility, courage, our Knight – see’s each person in distress and dire circumstances and saves the day, laying his very life down for the object of His love.

The way I see it, the original romanz is the mixture of languages — God’s with  mine — and is mostly used to tell a love story between He and the people He fashioned with His own hands. Whispering loving words to me all the time,  Jesus goes to all lengths to win me; for my whole life He has wanted to hold my hand no matter what turns in the road or temptations I face. He has never forsaken me or spurned me. There isn’t even the remote possibility that he will reject me.

So that is what enduring love looks like. I knew it was out there.

Back to my intro.

“She was nothing to look at; not the worst, not the best; just average. And she didn’t do anything outstanding, the kind to make headlines or break records; she did all right at the things she put her hand to. She was neither good nor horrible, but everyone has shame on account of things usually left unsaid, and she was no different. On a crowded side-walk she was a part of the crowd on the side-walk; most would not have noticed one way or another if she was there; but Jesus did. She stopped Him in his tracks! The moment she became a thought in His mind, there wasn’t anything else He could think of…”

Yay God for the Sacred Romance.

— Teresa Klassen

P.S. Thought the title on the picture was appropriate. Think about it.

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