“I have looked up this girl’s dossier and am horrified at what I find. Not only a Christian but such a Christian—a vile, sneaking, simpering, demure, monosyllabic, mouse-like, watery, insignificant, virginal, bread-and-butter miss. The little brute. She makes me vomit. She stinks and scalds through the very pages of the dossier. It drives me mad, the way the world has worsened. We’d have had her to the arena in the old days. That’s what her sort is made for. Not that she’d do much good there, either. A two-faced little cheat (I know the sort) who looks as if she’d faint at the sight of blood and then dies with a smile. A cheat every way. Looks as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth and yet has a satirical wit. The sort of creature who’d find ME funny! Filthy insipid little prude—and yet ready to fall into this booby’s arms like any other breeding animal.”
It is not often a girl in a fictional story takes my breathe away in place of a blush and a grin. In fact, only one fancied female, by the name of Rachel Winslow of In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, has ever caught my eye, so to speak. Her illustrated pretty face, equipped with a world-class, classically trained voice, undergoes suspense and poetic transformation as she matured—by renunciation of self and gain—into a heavenly-minded force for the Kingdom. The contemplative dealings through an identity crisis and paradigm shift forged a human side to her character that felt attainable, as if I could say about a woman, “That is Rachel Winslow in flesh.”
Never imagined a look or figure; only a countenance and spirit. I was struck by a faceless design, that, I was certain, was inspired.
There are reasons of godliness: of surprise: of meekness: of dewy-eyed joy: of holy enchantment that stops a man in his track and declares, “Isn’t she lovely.” And when that man discovers how God voices an even higher delight over her devotion, he is suddenly shy, for she is altogether lovely. To see a woman through earthly eyes is romantic at best; to see her through a saint is novel; to see her through the eyes of God is indescribable. As I read through The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, chapter 22 introduced me to a new way of seeing her—through the eyes of a demon?! The seething disgust of Screwtape for the “prude” begged for a reimagination, as every word of satanic contempt added to the tapestry of her beauty. She is treacherous. A counterrevolutionist. Unchecked. She is mayhem. Dangerous. She is enemy.
Atypical to words like tenderness and chaste, demons know better. Rachel Winslow is badass.