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“I Am Heathcliffe!”

June 21st, 2009

“Nelly, I am Heathcliffe!  He’s always in my mind…

as my own being”

(Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights)

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”

(Galatians 2:20)

In Emily Bronte’s nineteenth century English novel, Wuthering Heights, we encounter the expressed feelings of Cathy about Heathcliffe. An English literature professor once remarked about this Bronte piece that it was too melodramatic and thick to be real.    Perhaps, the scene where Heathcliffe begins to dig up his Cathy’s grave with his bare hands is over the top.  But, love does strange things.  What are we going to do with Paul’s Galatians 2:20 statement?  Is that also mere hyperbole?  Or, does love actually compel us to do strange things when we are passionate about what matters?  Before we dismiss this  loving sync in a relationship, consider the following adapted chart of John 17 (The Reformation Study Bible, ESV, ed. R.C. Sproul (Ligonier Ministries: Orlando, 2005), 1546-about Jesus’ desire for a deep and devoted relationship with his disciples.

Subject Father to Son Son to Believer

Unity                                      vv. 21, 23                                vv. 21, 23, 26

Glory                                      vv. 22, 24                                v. 22

Love                                        vv.23, 24, 26                           vv. 23, 26; 13:1

Purpose                                   vv. 18, 23, 25                          v. 18

Knowledge                              v. 25                                        vv. 3, 8, 25, 26

In the words of the song, Poured Out Like Wine, we have the question

“Would you be so one with Me that you would do just as I will?”

-Robert M. Housby