But I admire her fortitude

ScarletLetterBasically, they find grist to throw stones at the Puritans — and by extension, consciously or unconsciously, at all Christianity — from The Scarlet Letter. But I think they’re missing the major plot focusing on the minor theme.

Hester Prynne is a heroine. She reversed her fortunes by overcoming. When they branded her an adulteress (she got pregnant, not by her husband, who was traveling away from her for two years), publicly shaming her, Hester made the extraordinary decision to stay in the same town and bear the stares.

strength from weaknessInstead of running away, she confronted her detractors. Instead of meeting with open rebellion the unjust and hypocritical reviling, she quietly and unassumingly dedicated herself to help the poor of the town. After 7 years, the red “A” on her bosom came to mean “Able” in the eyes of all the town. She journeyed from sinner to saint.

I can’t throw dynamite sticks at the Puritans. Instead, I want to live the life of Hester. I want to quietly show the work God is doing in my life. I want to do the works of God and demonstrate fruit of repentance. No, I haven’t committed adultery. Her example transcends one sin and speaks about the human virtue of overcoming adversity and the triumph of change. She shows how strength can come from weakness.

19 responses to “But I admire her fortitude

  1. Your opinion is smothered in grace. Grace should always be our first option.
    A Servant

  2. I agree with the grace… I think it should be how we view everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This brings to mind something I read once, “I am who GOD says I am, not who people say I am.” It is a great reminder to help us find strength beyond ourselves when we need it. From her brave actions, I would guess that Hester was thinking along the same lines.

  4. Reblogged this on A Christian Warrior and commented:
    I pray that I could do this in a similar situation or any situation..

  5. Disagree.While Hester shouldn’t be judged and should be shown grace, she certainly is not a heroine.And yes, “we are who God’s says we are not what other people think”, but our choices certainly influence what other people think of us and it may be an uphill battle to get beyond that.

  6. It’s an amazing thing to be able to receive grace and then obwear it and walk it. Thanks be to God for covering our shame with His Grace!
    Thanks for shaing!

  7. Thanks for sharing this! It gives me a lot to think about in my own life. I need to look at whether I’m really working quietly on changing Church culture or if I’ve been sidetracked with tossing my own dynamite.

  8. Great insight. Makes me want to reread the book. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I love this story on so many levels. As an English teacher, of course, I find that it’s just good literature. As a showcase for a remarkable heroine who battled a completely different culture than we can even imagine, it stands out in the crowd. Hester is indeed a heroine. Grace is the ointment that heals all our wounds.

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