Hard-wired for it, I can't remember that thing called romance never being with me. Not in the gushy, girly-girl, over-the-top kind of way. Not that I can fault that. It is what it is. But rather so deep in my soul that it covers everything else. It rises to a three note tune and overwhelms me. The melancholy or the sensuality or the desire to immerse myself in its beauty. It's integral to who I am even when I don't know who that is.
This romance in my soul emerges from the sad, sacred sounds of Chris Botti's trumpet. It hovers inside me bringing all the insecurity of that first date. First kiss. Lips touching.
I sense the holiness intended -but corrupted.
The intensity of sensation that God intended for good. The genesis of romance from God's heart to the human will. Tainted but salvaged in potential obedience.
I can't take the sensuality away from it. Hand in hand they travel. Merging. Right or wrong.
I capture the essence of romance in my love story novels. Because I must. If I do nothing else well, I write romance - total immersion. Not demanding it conform to me or anyone else but that it treasure the gift of God to humanity.
The purist gift of souls and bodies merging changed, ravaged by sin. The contrast remains. The purity is lost. This is what I write about. Capturing that contrast because it's hidden from view even within the boundaries of faith, often unrealistically portrayed within the pages of Christian novels. Or worse: ignored.
I lived it from both sides. I've survived the shame and repentance. I can describe the curse of sin and how it applies to the worldview of romance. Because I've been there, I can write it. Like it is. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Contrast it. Make it real.
Christian publishing struggles in this reality. The romance in my soul demands honesty. Are we still hiding our nakedness from God? We can't. Our hearts lie exposed before Him.
Sweet little romances own their much-deserved place in Christian fiction. My question to readers is this: What's at the root of reading these kinds of novels? Is it the desire to return to the pre-sin Garden experience? Is it the desire for happily-ever-afters? Is it the desire to leave out the sensual apsects of romance and stick to the basics of simple attraction? Is it the desire to refrain from the "dangerous"? Please understand I'm not putting down the choice or reasons for reading these novels. I just want to know how the genre became so restrictive to the parts of romance that seem more "real" to me.
Nicole Petrino-Salter writes love stories with a passion. Visit her here.