How do you capture the heart of a peasant girl?

Real Help for Real Living

This past April Catherine Elizabeth “Kate” Middleton married Prince William of Wales. In 1987 her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, founded Party Pieces, a mail order company that sells party supplies and decorations. They have since become millionaires.

Let me change the story around. What if Kate did not have parents who are millionaires? What if she were a pauper, a peasant girl? What if Prince William had just happened to come upon her and fell madly in love, in spite of her poverty? How would he have captured the heart of a peasant girl?

Brent Hodges and John Eldridge, in their book “The Sacred Romance” (its not a love story between a man and a woman but between God as us), tell a figurative story of a king, centuries ago, who dealt with the same challenge. Permit me to modify their tale. The king, riding alone in the forest, came across a poor peasant girl living in a thatched roof hut. She was beautiful, yet simple. She was charming and yet humble. The king only stopped by her simple home for a drink of water, yet in those brief moments she stole his heart.

As he rode off from this encounter, he had found true love. No other woman in his kingdom had stolen his heart the way she had. What would he do? How would he win her over?

He assembled his wisest counselors and sought their wisdom.

The first advisor suggested he send his royal ambassador to the peasant girl to tell her that the king would like her hand in marriage. “But what if she would say ‘no,’” the king asked. What if she declined his marriage proposal? What if she said that she was totally unworthy–a woman of no means marrying the king of this great kingdom.

The king continued to struggle when a second advisor came up with a plan. He suggested that the king send a military force of 100 soldiers. In addition, he would send me with banners and others with trumpets. They would arrive at her simple hut with much fanfare. The king would dismount his stallion, knock on her door and ask for her hand in marriage. “But what if she were frightened from all the attention?” thought the king. What if she stayed inside her home and chose not to come out?

The king found himself deeply troubled. What could he do to win the hand of this woman who had stolen his heart? Finally, a third advisor came up with a solution. He explained to the king that he would have to become just like the woman – a pauper. He would have to lay aside his kingship and dress just like her – a peasant. He would arrive at her home as a simple man, not as a king. Then, and only then, would he know that she would respond to the purity of his love for her and not to his position of king.

That story is symbolic of the Christmas story; how would God win our hearts? He would have to become just like us, to be born as we are born, to live and work as we live and work, to become one of us, laying aside his divinity so we could respond to the purity of his love.

This Christmas, I invite you to enter into a relationship with the one we call the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the one who laid aside his divinity to become one of us.

I’ll be back next month. Until then, live well my friend.

Rev. Tony Marciano is the executive director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission, which provides a free, long-term Christian recovery program for men and women who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

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