Virtual Voices

A benefit of biographies

Faith & Inspiration

I don't know what helps you when you are smitten with an acute case of "fear of man," but one thing that does it for me is biographies and autobiographies. Just the remembrance of them is enough. This is especially potent when I am still walking around in an altered state of mind, having inhabited another's world completely for days on end.

You may recall my recent immersion in Jane Russell: My Path & Detours. I dare you to find a book (that's not a Russian novel) that has more personal names sprinkled in it. Through the printed word, they became my friends. I knew their childhood hijinks, romances, friendships, jealousies, betrayals, loves, hates, cliques, and follies.

When Jane and her contemporaries were alive, the world seemed to be their stage. And every argument, and every adventure and conflict, were infused with comic consequentialness. There was no thought of future worlds. I can picture boyfriend Bob Waterfield throwing touchdowns for UCLA. I can picture Jane tossing pebbles at the second story window of director Howard Hughes' office. I relive her near fatal abortion, her brief but meaningful gospel encounter with Judy Garland, MCA head Lew Wasserman's repeated ploys to woo Russell from RKO, Russell's fateful decision to overlook Waterfield's womanizing and go back to him, her later decision to leave, and her testimony before Congress on behalf of the Federal Orphan Adoption Bill.

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All these players are gone now, a whole generation and their loves and hates laid silent in the dust, their sound and fury passed away. Man is a brief agitation after all, and when the dust clears there is the Word of God standing alone:

"All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls, but the Word of the Lord remains forever" (1 Peter 1:24-25).

How sad, but how liberating. Why would we ever fear a man?

Listen to commentaries by Andrée Seu.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again. Follow Andrée on Twitter @Andreespeterson.

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