I recently read the book Jane Eyre with Charlotte for Language Arts, and even though the language is quite ‘heady’, with a lot of discussion, she really enjoyed it. I had remembered that it was a good story and all, but had forgotten just how good it is. There is one part I wanted to share along with an observation I’ve made recently.
I have to give a bit of history, or else the quote makes no sense. Jane is talking to her employer, Mr. Rochester about his life, the wrong turns he had made and he’s trying to somehow get through to her the difference she’s made in his life. He no longer feels the need to leave his home, drinking and gambling in order to forget a mistake he made when he was younger. Because of his vices, he feels he’s even more unforgivable, though he can now make the changes he needs to.
Again Mr. Rochester propounded his query:
‘Is the wandering and sinful, but now rest-seeking and repentant, man justified in daring the world’s opinion, in order to attach to him for ever this gentle, gracious, genial stranger, thereby securing his own peace of mind and regeneration of life?’
‘Sir,’ I answered, ‘a wanderer’s repose or a sinner’s reformation should never depend on a fellow-creature. Men and women die; philosophers falter in wisdom, and Christians in goodness: if any one you know has suffered and erred, let him look higher than his equals for strength to amend and solace to heal.’
‘But the instrument—the instrument! God, who does the work, ordains the instrument. I have myself—I tell it you without parable—been a worldly, dissipated, restless man; and I believe I have found the instrument for my cure…’
This got me thinking about those people God brings into our lives, the people who are the ‘instruments’ He uses to keep us going from day to day, to help us along, or have faith in us. I know that in my life there have been those friends, the ones who stuck through thick and thin even if just shortly. Even though I can’t compare with the life Mr. Rochester regrets, there were and are times in my life when I was discouraged with mistakes I had made, wrong calls, and blunders I seem to come up with far too frequently. There were times when no one but I knew about the things going through my mind, but somehow, at just the right time, God was able to use someone to bring me out of the discouragement I felt. It’s also true what Jane says, we can’t depend on people to see us through, in the end it is a work of God, but I just wanted to let those people know how much I value them in being the ‘instrument’ that helped me keep going. There have been times when it made all the difference in going on and giving up. I have been so blessed in that regard, maybe because it’s what the Lord knows I need in order to keep going.
Every day, I thank God for you. I only hope that when the time is needed, I can be an ‘instrument’ for you.