Love is chaste – A letter from Jeanne of Arc (pt 4)

by Craig on January 24, 2011

First, if you’re a Blissdom person, and haven’t read why I’m attending, please read this.

If you missed the previous parts of the letter, and would like to peek, here they are:

part one, part two, part three

… as I have said, I’m not unlike so many of you. I did however have a few unusual things to consider.

No one would allow me to lead the armies of France unless I was, as they say used to say, untouched.

There was a long standing legend in my country – a prophecy dating back to Merlin of Camelot. It foretold of a virgin who would save France. People who didn’t know me had suspicions.

I had already once been promised in marriage. I had been in constant contact with male soldiers. I actually had to be confirmed as a virgin twice – by a less than private physical examination – once by my own country and once by the English.

If I had taken the other road before my God appointed one had opened up, I would have been disqualified by my own people. If later I had forsaken my vow I would have been convicted as a witch by the English. The English believed that only a non-virgin could be a witch. My enemies would find other reasons to be rid of me – but not that one.

But I can hear some protest, “Times were different.” “It was easier to say no then.”  “There wasn’t any pressure.” Here’s something you need to know. In my day there was no protection from any male who wished to advance upon me – other than – me.

I traveled among the rich of France. The times I lived in allowed for any rich man to force himself on any peasant woman he wanted without penalty – and they did.

More than once it was attempted with me.

More than once I had to physically fend them off.

For the longest time the only thing stopping the many men who wanted what I would not give, was the edge of a sharp blade.

It was not easier then…

It was easier though with my army. They ferociously guarded both my reputation and my life. These men never pushed against my boundaries even once. I never had the chance to ask them about it. But later, under oath, they told everyone else.

Gobert, one of my fine soldiers said this during my second trial;  “She was always with the soldiers: I heard many of those closest to her say that they never had any desire for her; that is to say, they sometimes felt it but never dared to let themselves act on it. Often, when they were speaking among themselves of the sin of the flesh and were saying things that might arouse desire, if they saw her or came near her, they were not able to continue such speech…

And then there were my two earliest  men at arms:

Bertrand testified, “At night, Jeanne slept beside John de Metz and myself, fully dressed and armed…I should never have dared to advance upon her, because of the great goodness which I saw in her.”

And my first comrade, Jean de Metz said, “She inspired me with such respect that for nothing in the world would I have dared to violate her…”

The ones with no respect were the ones to worry about.

But my comrades,

the ones who really cared,

the ones who really counted,

they never once tried to change me,

or manipulate me, or force me, or persuade me.

It seems that real love,

real respect,

real concern,

makes all the difference.

______

Please come back tomorrow for the conclusion of this letter.

In God’s love.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home January 24, 2011 at 7:49 am

This is a very interesting series, Craig. I am enjoying it. Loved the statement from the last post, “who needs the refinements? We just need to be refined.” I remember reading Joan of Arc when I was in elementary school and she was such a fascinating “hero”.

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Craig January 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm

She is such a hero Sharon – so much done in just 19 years – she was always in a hurry, always pushing forward, sometimes it looked like too much – but I think she knew the clock was ticking. And human – very human. Thanks Sharon. Every time I know you’ve read me – smiles – just smiles.

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Debbie January 24, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I can’t imagine what life was like for her and how she handled it . . .all by the time she was 19? I know we think that we are more civilized now, more advanced and I’m sure we are in many respects. But much was required of “teenagers” back then. There weren’t teenagers were there? One must have become an adult pretty quickly. . .from a child. God bless you for showing us Jeanne in a way I would never have known on my own.

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Craig January 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I haven’t thought of it that way before Deb. You were a child, then when you hit the teens you were an adult – an non respected adult for your age – but an adult – no transitions. Hmmm.

God Bless – thank you too.

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Joyce L Gibson January 24, 2011 at 11:08 pm

I am in awe. How did she maintain such integrity, purity, leadership? She was so young. No youth group activity to encourage her. No mentor to guide her. No fellow-bloggers to give understanding and support. Thank you for bringing her to life and giving a glimpse of what God can do.

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Joyce L Gibson January 24, 2011 at 11:08 pm

I am in awe. How did she maintain such integrity, purity, leadership? She was so young. No youth group activity to encourage her. No mentor to guide her. No fellow-bloggers to give understanding and support. Thank you for bringing her to life and giving a glimpse of what God can do.

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Craig January 24, 2011 at 11:11 pm

You hit the button twice huh Grandma Joyce? :)

It was that direct relationship with Our Lord – that burning desire to know him – and protect his name. And then – she also had two angels – and a couple of saints – bloggers are nice – angels and saints might be a smidge better :)

God Bless

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Joyce L Gibson January 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Yes, my grandson, with my old age and stiff fingers I am apt to hit a button twice or hit the wrong button. Time at the computer is full of surprises for me, and not pleasant to have my ineptness for all to see.

I am so very happy that you will be at the conference. I pray for you every day, as I have since you became my grandson, and I will be asking the Lord to exceed your highest hopes there. Actually I am so excited for you that I have signed up for their newsletter. Who knows . . . if God gives fresh strength . . .

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Craig January 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm

You’re the last comment on this post I think. It’s our secret – and you don’t have to be as old as you – what 44 or 45? to have a body that doesn’t do as it’s told.

There are some difficulties awaiting me at the conference Grandma – I will need extra prayer – so please pray while I’m gone. God knows the details – I know he listens to you :)

And if you decide to write online – you can always do guest posts for your Grandson if you want to test the waters – I’d be so honored – and happy. I don’t pay much though. Just in smiles. :)

signed,

Somebody’s Grandson

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Anonymuss January 25, 2011 at 12:08 am

I had no idea she was so remarkable in so many ways. Wow! Thank you for sharing her with us, Craig!

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Craig January 25, 2011 at 12:12 am

There is so much more A. this is just a tiny snippet of the story. I heart her. God Bless.

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