the village

(I actually wrote this for our last issue of Femnista, but had to cut it when it became a priority to feature Amy and Rory.)

What will love ask of you? If you’re Ivy Walker, it’ll ask you to overcome your fears, discover the truth, and push into the unknown … completely blind.

The love Ivy shares with Lucius is gentle and innocent. He’s a man of few words whose conspicuous lack of affection for her indicates how he wants to guide, love, and protect her in an atmosphere of fear. In this solitary world, creatures inhabit the wood; no one must pass the border or associate with the “ bad color” (red). Only Lucius is unafraid. He believes the creatures won’t harm the innocent. Ivy doesn’t understand his courage until she’s asked to find it herself.

The Village is about many different kinds of love: unspoken, unrequited, controlling, jealous, and innocent. Love keeps some enslaved to lies and sets others free in the truth. It’s a story of trying to repress evil through alienation only to discover that evil exists wherever sinful people are present. It’s about isolation, innocence, and fear. The village’s external beauty covers up a multitude of sins.

Few romances have a leading man who rarely says a word and a blind heroine. She sees faint “color” around those she loves most: her father and Lucius. Ivy is forever altered by love. For it, she enters the wood and goes on when others turn back in fear. Her love for Lucius leads to the discovery of a horrible secret. Another’s love, in a twisted and jealous form gives her a chance to become more, to learn the truth, and avenge herself, in complete innocence. Ivy proves that true love can overcome any obstacle. She’s blind but it doesn’t stop her from being courageous. Her love for Lucius is pure, and asks her to tackle what she most fears. Ivy lives out the definition of love in Corinthians: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Love leads her to truth, helps overcome her fears, and saves Lucius. In no small way, the shedding of blood changes her life forever. To her, it’s a devastating event, but it offers her absolute truth for the first time. This concept is familiar to believers. It reminds us of another innocent spilling of blood, which lets us find the truth, overcome our fears, and be saved. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as life-altering for us as Lucius’ injury is for Ivy. His love forever changes us, as Lucius’ spilled blood forever changes Ivy. Without love, she couldn’t find courage. But when filled with it, nothing is too difficult for her, even if she may struggle in fear. Just as Ivy’s love lets her do great things, Jesus’ love grants us power and strength. Where others in the town are tormented by their individual “boxes of sin,” Ivy’s acceptance of love frees her from darkness. ■