Eclipse Devotion #1: Real Love & The Power of Choice by Lori Lundquist

“You will have a choice… You aren’t going through with this because a sword is hanging over your head. We will take care of the problems, and I will take care of you,” he vowed. “When you’re through it, and there is nothing forcing your hand, then you can decide to join me, if you still want to. But not because you’re afraid. You won’t be forced into this.” (Eclipse, ch. 12, pg. 271)

Eclipse is all about choices. The love triangle sets up in New Moon, and we are aware that Bella must decide. Although the assumption is that she’ll choose Edward hands down, it ends up being tougher than that for her. She doesn’t want to let go of her friendship with Jacob. The situation is compounded when Jacob declares his love for Bella and forces her to consider him as more than a friend.

Through all of the back and forth, fights, contests, and stresses, one thing remains in tact – Bella’s power of choice – free will.

She doesn’t realize she has this power, believing that Edward is/was/always will be her one and only – that she never really had a choice (pg.600). But her actions prove otherwise.

Jacob asks her to choose him (pg.327), and then goes about forcing her hand in as many ways as he could imagine, praying for his own sake she would give in to his persuasions.

Edward, though, wields the greatest power because he grants Bella the power of choice.

Yes, he prevents her from seeing Jacob on several occasions, but I believe that his motivation stemmed from true belief that she was in danger in Jacob’s presence. Once that issue resolves, he steps back and lets her choose every course of action even though many of her decisions cause him great pain. In so giving Bella the gift of free will, he risks losing her. Even though he knows the depth of his love, his ability to protect her, the possibility and implications of Jacob imprinting on someone else in the future… all the risks to Bella… he still leaves the choice to her.

Gentlemen are like that.

He knew that in any love relationship, the proof is in the choice.

But I also think Edward leaves the choice to her because being with him requires complete commitment. Even though she wants to be like him, only Edward knows what she has to endure to make that happen – excruciating pain, loss of family and friends, complete lifestyle revolution. He had to make sure she knew exactly what she thought she was saying ‘yes’ to.

When Jesus proposes to us, similar factors exist.

He has been clear – He loves us with an everlasting love, more perfectly than any other love that could ever vie for our attentions. He knows the risks of losing us, both to Himself and to us. He has endured the pain of our rejection time after time.

Yet, he still leaves the answer up to us.

We get to choose.

Yes, there are consequences for rejecting him, and benefits for accepting.

But Jesus is the ultimate gentleman. He never forces our hand.

He knows that the proof of love lies in choice. If we don’t choose Him, the love isn’t real.

But He also knows what accepting Him means for us, and He wants us to understand completely before we pledge our commitment. In becoming like Him, we will experience pain as our flesh is transformed and we carry the cross He assigns (incredible symbolism in BD on that). We will loose loved-ones to the world as we follow closely after Him. We will have to transform our lifestyle to one that goes against the grain of cultural norms.

The love must be informed and real because accepting Him out of fear, force, guilt or any other motivation won’t cut it in the long run. Although He already took care of the really tough stuff (you know, suffering and dying for our sins), we still have a road to travel. And that road might be difficult. In many cases, really difficult.

But the reward is so worth it. (You’ll have to wait for Breaking Dawn for those analogies!)

In Eclipse, we find Bella in the middle of her decision-making adventure. Her future depends on the result of those decisions just as our future depends on the choice we make when Jesus asks, “Will you marry me?”

Lori Lundquist is the author of the blog Dry Ground , a lover of books movies, music, and “stories in every form.” She also the prolific writer of several Christian fiction pieces. You should totally follow her. 🙂


~ by sarahthebaker on February 25, 2010.

One Response to “Eclipse Devotion #1: Real Love & The Power of Choice by Lori Lundquist”

  1. Nice! Thanks for posting this!

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