Devotion #8: What we are

“We went for a walk—and he was telling me some old legends—trying to scare me, I think. He told me one…About vampires.”
“And you immediately thought of me?” Still calm. “What did you do then?”
“Some research on the internet.”
“And did that convince you?” His voice sounded barely interested. But his hands were clamped hard onto the steering wheel.
“No. Nothing fit. Most of it was kind of silly. And then…” I stopped.
“I decided it didn’t matter,” I whispered.
“It didn’t matter?” His tone made me look up—I had finally broken through his carefully composed mask. His face was incredulous, with just a hint of the anger I’d feared.
“No,” I said softly. “It doesn’t matter to me what you are.”
A hard, mocking edge entered his voice. “You don’t care if I’m a monster? If I’m not human?”
“You haven’t asked me the most important question yet….You aren’t concerned about my diet?”
“Don’t you want to know if I drink blood?”
“Jacob said you didn’t…hunt people. He said your family wasn’t supposed to be dangerous because you only hunted animals.”
“We try,” he explained slowly. “We’re usually very good at what we do. Sometimes we make mistakes. Me, for example, allowing myself to be alone with you….this is a very dangerous mistake.”
“Tell me why you hunt animals instead of people,” I suggested, my voice still tinged with desperation. I realized my eyes were wet, and I fought against the grief that was trying to overpower me.
“I don’t want to be a monster…”
Twilight Chapter 9

Edward is well acquainted with his faults. However, he’s spent so much time obsessing over them (approximately 85-90 years), without the benefit of “sleeping it over” and has been mentally poisoned by his own idealism.
As the passage illustrates, he is obviously concerned for Bella’s safety (or lack thereof) by her being so close to him, he’s petrified that he will kill her. The upside is that Edward has an excellent level of self-awareness, but a very poor level of self-trust.

It’s important to know yourself, but you must know what good you are capable of, not only the evil. Truth be told, throughout the series, Edward is constantly having to reassure Bella of his undying affection for her (she sees herself as an awkward, average, ugly-duckling of a human, whilst beholding his “inhumanly beautiful” grace and beauty), but she must constantly reiterate her faith in his soul, of his internal beauty which he no longer believes in.

This is indicative of our relationship with God in two ways: to Bella, Edward is the supernatural lover of her soul. He loves her in her frail humanity, but holds the promise of everlasting life. To Edward, Bella represents so much more than a chance at love. She is his chance for redemption, grace, a chance to reclaim his lost humanity, Bella is Edward’s supposedly “lost” soul. In Genesis terms, she is the fruit of the tree of life, able to undo the internal damage wrought by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (symbolically speaking, of course).
How do we know that Edward is not beyond this redemption? In his own words, he “doesn’t want to be a monster.”
We are all Bella and we are all Edward. We all battle sin, condemnation, and self-judgment. The important thing to realize is the reason behind what we do: we don’t want to be monsters. We want to be saved from ourselves, and that is possible.


~ by sarahthebaker on November 29, 2009.

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