Tolkien and Tragedy

Sitting at my desk in El Salvador, the news reports are pouring in…bombings, death in Boston. I scroll down the other news stories and I read about death in the Middle East, hatred in Asia. I take in the local news stories. Gangs at war, youth lost again.

“So much death. What can man do against such reckless hate?”

These epic words were spoken by King Theoden in the second film installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Those of you who know me, know that I am a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan. I’ve read the books, and a weekend spent in a LOTR movie marathon is a great weekend as far as I’m concerned.

I think Tolkien resonates with so many people because his themes of tyranny, tragedy, desperation, and hopelessness in the face of pure evil are timeless. They echo on…not confined to Hitler or Stalin or Sandy Hook.

People are evil, the world is full of hate, and we are helpless to stop it.

But are we?

Aragorn’s response to Theoden is just as epic, “Ride out with me.” Aragorn is the heir to the throne, the leader, and he inspires Theoden to action in his lowest moment.

Because the response to overwhelming evil is to engage, to ride into the fray, to count the cost, and to confront it head on.

We are called to that. We are not called to stand in hopelessness, we are not called to turn our backs on a world that hates, and that spreads evil. We are called to look death in the face and to ride out.

Straight into it with banners waving. Our weapon is love, our message is grace, and we have hope.

In the darkest hour, in the moment of unspeakable loss, we can still ride out and engage the world. Because that’s where God engaged us.

Those who hate are reckless. But we are reckless too. We love recklessly, we offer hope recklessly, and we ride out recklessly when all is lost.

So, with prayers on our lips, and hope in our hearts…today we ride out, and tomorrow, and the next because Love conquers all.

One Response to Tolkien and Tragedy

  1. Amazing, put my thoughts into words and better yet added LOTR references ! Aha. I stand by what you said 100% ” All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us “

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