Friday, October 25, 2013

A Classic

"Why is she locked up inside the attic like that?"

Violet's words came from the couch as she sat watching the movie.

"She's insane, so he keeps her up there so she won't hurt anybody;
he has a care-giver up there for her so she won't hurt anybody or herself,"
I answered from the ironing board.

"What makes a person go insane like that?"
her questions seemed to come one right after another.

She had watched this movie already and was watching it again,
better understanding it this time, but wanting to understand those parts that had bothered her.

"There are different reasons for a person going insane,"
I paused as to which direction to go with this.
  I always try to find ways to condense information so that I don't lose my kids in big dialog.  It is a tricky conjuring up of rapid, precise information.
"Sometimes it is genetic, like in her case.  That means it was in her body from her mom or dad.
Her mother was insane, and they didn't tell him that when he married her.

Sometimes it can be caused by environment or things we eat or drink.
Eating too much junk or not getting the right nutrition for the body can make a person's body go off track."

I stopped for a minute to hand a crayon to Lillie who was asking for a pink one.
 I could see it had fallen and rolled by my feet.

Violet took this momentary lapse to ask another,
What do you mean by that?"

The hot iron was picked up again and swept the material as I answered,
"Environment means the situation or surroundings around you.
It's like the Romans that we are studying in history right now.
Some historians say many of them got lead poisoning because of the way they cooked in certain pots and pans or because of the piping that they used for their water.
When a metal in the body or even minerals become out of balance by having too much of it,
it can cause the brain to not function correctly."

"Another example is that there used to be a lot of lead used in paint."
I continued.
People who inhaled the dust from the paint that chipped off,
or little children who ate the paint chips that would flake off the windows were beginning to have problems and they linked it to the lead in the paint.

Aluminum pans is another one that can cause problems in the brain.

All of these large amounts of minerals and metals and different substances can cause problems in our bodies
because God made the body sensitive and we need to be careful what we put into it.

Sometimes, insanity can even be a spiritual thing, if a person fools with things of the devil.

There are different reasons for insanity,
but the thing was, he took care of her as best he could.
Others in that situation might have sent her away or even let her starve since she couldn't understand much of what was going on."

I could tell by the silence that she was thinking again.

"Why wouldn't Jane marry Mr. Rochester?  Why did she leave and not let him know where she was going?"

 This was a hard question, to try to sum up a person's hard choice to do what was right
even when it seemed so hard.

"She was not willing to go against her conscience." I summed up.
  "Once she found out he was married,
she knew she could not marry him.  She knew that deep in her heart,
she had to do what she knew was the right thing to do because she didn't want to live with the consequences of making a wrong choice.
Happiness doesn't come from things, or a big house, or jewelry,
or even marrying a man who loves you and you love him.
Happiness comes from doing what is right, even when it is really hard to do that.
That takes courage.  And she chose it."


"We all will have hard choices and you have to choose at that time what you will do.
We all make mistakes and God will always forgive us, and that is something important to never forget;
but there are consequences to the choices we make."

"It was hard." I agreed.  "It made her sad for a long time.
But God sees when we choose to do right and eventually she did end up happy again,
far happier than she would have been had she chosen to go against her conscience.
Sometimes, we may have to go through being sad,
but God sees the future and we have to trust that.
Back then, marriage was seen differently than today.
People who were married were married for life.  That is the way God intended it, even though that may be hard to have to live with sometimes, like it was for Mr. Rochester."

 I hadn't ironed for very long before she piped up again:
"That woman that liked Mr. Rochester, the rich one, she was so pretty,
and Jane is so plain.  I thought men liked beautiful women.  Why would he love Jane over her?"

I smiled at her thoughts, the heralded praise of beauty that is so often pushed on us,
all around us,
was being challenged by this story.

"The truth is, Violet, beauty is much more than what a person looks like.
What would be more pleasant to live with:
a plain person who smiles and sings and laughs and plays and is kind,
or a beautiful person who is mean and angry and hurtful?
Ugly manners and choices makes a beautiful person ugly.
Right character and choices can make a very plain person beautiful.
Men see that too, usually, sometimes not right away, but usually, eventually.
  It is tricky because men are created to be drawn to beauty
because that is the way God made them,
but they have to balance that with seeing the person on the inside,
or they may be stuck for the rest of their lives with a woman who makes their life unhappy."

Later, as the segments continued on, she came and said,

"Did you see how Jane acted when she found out she had inherited all that money
and she wasn't poor anymore.  She acted like it wasn't important.
But when she found out she was cousins of the people at Gateshead where she was staying,
she was so excited and happy.
Why would she be more excited about having three cousins than about being rich?"

"Well, let me ask you." I responded,
  "What would you feel like if you didn't have any relatives at all:
no parents,
no grandparents,
no sisters or brothers,
no aunts or uncles
(besides the really mean ones like she had lived with as a child),
no cousins,
not even any close friends,

You were completely alone in this life.

What good would money be to you if you had nothing much to do with it,
nobody to do anything with or use it for,
except maybe to strangers who might need it more than you?

It would just be paper that could buy you stuff.

What if you found out suddenly that you had family,
that the people you were living with and had grown to love were actually cousins.

You would go from having absolutely nobody,

 to having family.

That is something that money cannot buy or fill.

Money may seem like everything to people,
but when you really sit down and think about it,
it is just paper,
just something to get you things,
but it can't buy you love, friends, or family.
Honestly, it cannot buy happiness;
it cannot buy peace with God."

Later after she'd gone to bed, I thought of these and other conversations this story had brought up:

a movie...from a classic.

Jane Eyre was a book I had to read in one of the teen years of my schooling.

I remember it very well because it stirred up in me many of these same questions,
issues that challenged so many different elements in life.

I thought of all the different things we had covered in just a few hours of a movie based on a classic
and I thought about our current educational dilemma.
So many of the classics are being pushed out,
seen as being 'out of touch' with the current generation
and it made me wonder:

can we ever really be out of touch with these things
or will we cause our future generations to fall below the richness of finding the simple truths to true happiness?
Proverbs 3:1-8


  1. you are your Mother's daughter. I can picture her answering you in the same way. I love seeing Christian values being passed down.

  2. You are a good teacher. And a wonderful mom.
    I wish we had more like you.



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