Saturday’s Mind Travels

Daisy shared something cool with me last week. It’s made my  mind travel ever since, and I wanted to share some here.  Those of you who know me, know my favorite books outside the Bible is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien. Same goes for the movies, although the books leave more for you to imagine yourself there in Middle Earth fighting along with the good guys.

Do you ever wonder which ‘character’ of the Bible, specifically, the New Testament, you most identify with?  Do you wonder if you were there at the time when Jesus was teaching, and all through the trial and His crucifixion, whether you were Peter, John, his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene or any of the others?  I do.  And I find myself doing the same with the LOTR.

I know Tolkien didn’t mean for the LOTR to be an allegory, but since he was a strong Christian believer, it’s not surprising that so much familiar comes through in his writing.

I have no idea where this snippet Daisy found comes from,  I did try and do a search, but no luck.  Anyway, it parallels the final part of Frodo and Sam’s mission, and finds the two fallen, exhausted, in pain, hopeless, while still “I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.

For those who don’t know the whole wonderful story, there’s really no way to give a good enough synopsis in such a short space- but as in high school… that’s what Cliffs Notes are for 🙂

So anyway, back to the point.  Frodo and Sam are seemingly on the edge of the very end of the world as Mount Doom is spewing lava and self destructing.

Enter, the Book of Isaiah for a minute…
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Frodo and Sam have been to hell in a sense, having to take the accursed ring and throw it in the fires where it was forged in evil. They have suffered emotional, mental, physical pain and finally collapsing out of being utterly spent in their quest, only to die alone on a self destructing mountain.  And then the eagles come.

I don’t know why I cry so hard at some of the scenes in the Return of the King, which is the the last book in the series.  I figured it’s just my sappy nature which loves a happy ending. But it’s more.  It’s because, according to the unknown devotional Daisy sent me, “there is great hope and joy for those of us laboring as Christians in an age of cynicism- and thankfully as we have seen, that is only a reflection of the shining light of truth of these themes found in the Bible.”

When Sam and Frodo are lifted from their place of doom, and borne by the eagles they wake up to a place where the fellowship has been fully restored, all is well and the King has returned- and indeed has been their healer, bringing them through the valley of the shadow, into the light of righteousness prevailing.

There is so much in these books, in this story that makes me think of our own burdens, and the many parallels that are revealed between fantasy and our own fellowships and quest.  And yet I see Jesus in so many ways, displayed in certain qualities of the characters- from Frodo’s knowing it’s his burden to carry, even if it kills him- to Samwise being the ever faithful servant doing his master’s will.  To Aragorn, described as rough, stern, and contemptibly by those who don’t understand who he is,  as a ranger… As he is also described as trustworthy- “all that is gold does not glitter“… He is humble, yet highly esteemed and destined to his rightful place as heir to the throne of Gondor.  And he is healer, helper and wise, and rules Middle Earth with righteous judgement and compassion.

When all seems darkest, hope is almost completely lost, Gandalf and Pippin find peace in it as Pippin says, “I didn’t think it would end this way.

Gandalf’s reply, “End? No, this journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it...”

What Gandalf? See what?

White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.

I never realized why I cried so hard at the last book, before reading the piece that Daisy had sent me, but I do now.  It’s a wonderful reminder, that while the characters in LOTR eventually still grow old and die, or take the passage across the sea, some day, Our King will return, and those of us who long for and are heirs with Him in His kingdom will remain with Him in never ending joy.  Entering to His rest, after weary burden laden travels for those who love Him…

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  Revelation 21:1-7

Have a blessed Saturday all.