“He should be told.” She began tracing circles on the back of Richard’s hand with her free one. “He might rest easier if he knew.” She drew in a deep, shaky breath. After a few moments of silence, she continued, “He made a promise to my father…” She drew in another shaky breath and shook her head.
“To protect you and your mother.” Richard kissed the top of her head. “And he has done well. You are right; he should be told.”
[Listen to Your Heart, Ch. 16]
It is not only in the romantic relationship in my books where you can catch glimpses of God’s love on display. It can be seen in familial relationships, friendships, between a character and a stranger, and even between employer and employee such as in the example that I want to briefly examine today.
We’re going to return to the verse from the “Love Chapter” (as 1 Corinthians 13 is sometimes called) which I referenced in last month’s post.
1 Corinthians 13:7* says “It (love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Last month, we discussed how the fact that love trusts can be found in Grace and Walter’s relationship in His Beautiful Bea. Today, we’re going to focus on the always protects portion of this description of perfect love.
In Listen to Your Heart, danger abounds. Rosings has been the seat of great unrest and unhappiness for years and years. Alliances, murders, smuggling, and secrets colour every corner of the estate, slinking and hiding in the shadows until love and truth force them to show their scarred and heinous visages.
Yet, in the heart of this inhospitable climate, love survives and stands strong before erupting forth in new life.
Lovers who were separated in a horrific fashion are reunited. In the face of painful family divisions, as well as dire threats from without, relations stand united in pursuing the opportunity to marry as they choose. And a promise from a faithful servant to a good and kind master is fulfilled.
This faithful servant is Mr. Kellet, Rosing’s butler. Like his master, Mr. Kellet was not born in England. He was born in France and came to serve Sir Louis de Bourgh, who was of noble birth, before Sir Louis escaped the troubles of the French Revolution. When Sir Louis escaped, he did not escape alone, and one of the people who came with him was Mr. Kellet.
Over the course of years, Mr. Kellet became more like a part of the family than just a mere servant. He stood guard over those in his household and kept careful watch to see that all the members of Sir Louis’s family were kept as safe as could be. And at some point, before Sir Louis de Bourgh died, Mr. Kellet, promised him that he would protect Anne and Lady Catherine.
“He must have the patience of Job to put up with Catherine as his employer,” she whispered to Richard. “The next master of Rosings will have a treasure in that man should he have the sense to retain Mr. Kellet. Your father tried to hire him away from Catherine, but Mr. Kellet would hear none of it. He said he promised his master to look after the ladies of Rosings, and he is not a man to go back on his word. He keeps a close eye on things. If you ever need information on any who visit here, he is the person to see.” Richard’s eyes grew wide at this information. “Indeed?” She laughed softly, and her eyes twinkled. “How do you suppose I always knew what you and Darcy were up to when you were young?” Richard shook his head. “I should have known you had a spy working for you.” He opened the door to Anne’s sitting room and allowed his mother to enter before him. Before she even spoke a word of greeting, she gathered Anne into her arms.
[Listen to Your Heart, Ch. 6]
It was not a promise he took lightly, and it was not one that would be fulfilled without great cost. When Anne and her mother are at odds, Mr. Kellet is there keeping watch, assessing the dangers, and taking action to prevent injury and dispell the danger. He is not, however, supernatural, and his love, care, and devotion to and for his master’s family, cannot be completely perfect. He is not able to anticipate or stop every evil plan. Though trouble arises and destroys, it will not prosper for Mr. Kellet will not allow it. He will chase it down and rout it out.
Why? Why would he not just attempt to mitigate the damage and be happy with that? It is because of love. The love that Mr. Kellet has for the family he currently serves and the man he once called master will not allow him to leave his post as their guardian until he knows that they are well-protected. It is only when he knows that he had fulfilled his duty and that his charges are safely under another’s care that he can finally rest easy.
“You’ve served well. Sir Louis would be satisfied. I can take over from here.” Mr. Kellet took one last shallow breath, and Richard pulled Anne onto his lap where he held her while she wept.
[Listen to Your Heart, Ch. 16]
*Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Sometimes the path to happily ever after can be strewn with danger and intrigue. Anne de Bourgh has never had a coming-out. She has never had a season. In fact, she has never had a suitor. But, according to her mother, she has always had a future husband. Although Anne desires to marry, she does not wish to marry her mother’s choice, and he does not wish to marry her. With no other options and the prime of her youth slipping away, Anne’s view of her future is bleak. However, when she finds some papers hidden in her father’s study, that view, in the light of his wishes, changes. Her declaration to follow her heart and choose her own future causes discord and forces secrets to be revealed.