After reading King Lear


Musings on Kent:

We, as a culture, do not prize loyalty nearly enough.

If the object of our fealty is wrong, or wrongs us, obedience and fealty are no longer due. While it is true that we ought to obey God rather than men, is it not worthy to love and serve even where hate is returned? We cringe from swearing obedience, from promises of forever; we qualify, contract, legalize, and quibble, forsaking bonds of fellowship for fear of future pain. We prize freedom above all else, and slaves are not free. Servants are not free. Love is not free. For love serves; love does not shrink from pain; love does not give up. Love holds fast even when the object of love strikes out in anger and terror. Love holds fast even when rejected. Love holds fast even if you nail it spread-eagled to a tree through its palms so that it can no longer hold you.

Kent makes us uncomfortable. It’s too much; no one can really love like that, serve like that, without ulterior motives. He must get something out of it. Some sick satisfaction, some twisted feelings of power.

And like Lear, we banish those best for us and flee from this all-consuming love.

Love is loyal. And it terrifies us.


Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “After reading King Lear

  1. We have been studying the contrast between King Saul and David in Sunday School. You could have been talking about them rather than King Lear. I appreciate your challenge to us to be loyal to those in authority over us even if they don’t seem worthy. God has allowed all of those authorities, and we can remember that we have pledged our fealty to Him.

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