Sumner C Period discussion

As Sure as the Dawn (Mark of the Lion, #3)
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"As Sure As The Dawn" Discussion

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Lindsey Beck (lindseyjb) Discussion on "As Sure As The Dawn" and Christianity.

Lindsey Beck (lindseyjb) "You speak of legal rights. What of love? Where were you when his mother was commanding that he be abandoned? Why didn't she send him to you? You didn't want him either... you turned your back on him."

To set up the discussion, Atretes (a former Roman gladiator) had an illegitimate child. His lover Julia, who was an evil figure in the two books prior to this one, demanded that he be left on rocks to die. Her maid Hadassah saves the child and brings him to the apostle John, who gives him to a woman named Rizpah to care for him. Atretes has figured out the child is alive and demanded the child be brought to him because it is his "son" and he has a "legal right to him." Rizpah realizes that he just wants the son because he believes he has a right to him and it is not out of love or a desire to know him better.

I thought this quote was interesting because Rizpah is so honest with a man that she knows is extremely angry and aggressive. However, there is a touch of dramatic irony here because she does not know Atretes's whole story. Atretes is hurting from years of killing and Julia's betrayal, which left him heartbroken. I think this shows how we can be quick to judge others based on their appearance or demeanor when they are hurting. This is disappointing because we can miss an opportunity to help someone in their struggles.

Lindsey Beck (lindseyjb) "Atretes... choose forgiveness and be free..." "There are some things in this world that can never be forgiven..."

In this scene, Atretes has been intrigued by Rizpah's past, which involved the death of her husband and child who was just weeks old. When he comes to her to ask her questions about it, they get into a discussion about God and whether or not things of the past can be forgiven. Rizpah relays her personal experience of being forgiven by the Lord and seeing the world in a way that did not "look the same" whereas Atretes argues that the past will always be there and you cannot be freed from it.

This discussion between these two characters intrigued me because I know that sometimes the past can be haunting. In a way, I can relate to both characters in this argument. I know that I am forgiven by the Lord, but there are still things that have happened to me that still hurt me to think about. I've never really met a person that is totally unscathed by their past. (Even Rizpah, a character who is confident in the forgiveness and peace that Christ gives, still has times in the book where she thinks about the past and feels remorse.)

Lindsey Beck (lindseyjb) "Christ will bring Atretes to saving faith, if it's His will to do so. Not you. Your call is to show Atretes God's love..."

At this part of the story, Atretes's foe Sertes has discovered that he has an illegitimate child and plans to use that against him to force him to lose his freedom and fight in the arena again. Atretes finds out that he has been sending spies and had discovered this and plans to return to his home country of Germania, where he was captured and sold into the arena years ago. Rizpah refuses to let him take Caleb (the child) with him without her coming, so she is joining him on the journey. She has gone to John, the apostle, to discuss how to get to Germania, where to get money, and faith in general. She tells John how she cannot get Atretes to even acknowledge God.

I feel like so many Christians get caught in this trap. We try to convert people to Christianity and fail to realize that they don't want to be forced to believe something; they want to be loved and be kindly shown what you believe. Sometimes forcing your beliefs on someone can make them even more hard towards the religion or belief. We need to learn to listen and love people, not make them projects.

Lindsey Beck (lindseyjb) "Nothing is done in secret."

In this quote, Rizpah and Atretes have left is villa in order to begin the long journey to Germania. While they are on their way out, one of Atretes's servants spots them and, to protect their secret, Atretes murders him. Rizpah tells him that nothing he does will go unnoticed in terms of God and he brushes it off.

I think this is such a hard concept to swallow. How often do we hide things from people because we don't want our reputation to ruin or to face the consequences? Yet, the one person whose opinion matters is God, and we always forget that we cannot hide anything from Him. However, knowing this can go to the other end of the spectrum. If we think God is judging is solely on our actions on not our salvation, we work too hard to please him. Both of these issues can lead to a broken relationship with God, and most people usually fall on one side or the other. The best way to live is not to do things in secret but ask for forgiveness when we mess up. We must also understand that God loves us when we do mess up.

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