Q: Quote From a Book That Inspires You / Gives You Feels
Sare ic wæs mid sorgum gedrefed, hnag ic hwæðre þam secgum to handa, eaðmod elne mycle.
Sorely I was with sorrows afflicted, but I bowed to the hands of the men, submissive with great zeal.
– “The Dream of the Rood”
Wel bið þam þe him are seceð, frofre to Fæder on heofonum, þær us eal seo fæstnung stondeð.
Well it is for him who seeks mercy, comfort from the Father in heaven, where all our fastness (security) stands.
– “The Wanderer”
These might not look like the stuff of great inspiration; it’s no St. Crispin’s Day speech, no Shakespearian exhortation unto the breach once more, much less a modern approach to exhortation a la Carnegie, Peale, Carlson, or Covey.
But together, these words exhort me to go and meet the daily slings and arrows. The Rood-Tree is an example of zealously submitting oneself to suffering and sorrow: an approach almost as paradoxical as the crucifixion itself, a victory that so resembled defeat. Deor indicates that whether life is full of delight or dejection, it will pass. And then the Wanderer takes that a step further: he recites all that he’s suffered (anxiety, loneliness, loss of his kin, loss of his lord and his lord’s protection) and ponders how everything – wealth, friends, kin, merriment – is lent to us, is passing, is transitory. The whole foundation of the earth shall stand empty – but the one who seeks mercy (or grace, or peace, or honor) should find comfort in our heavenly Father. That is the one place of rest that endures. And so I keep going, persevering until I reach it.