Just got Children of Hurin from the library and have 6 days to read it. Not that it will take me that long. So far, it doesn’t move me like LOTR or the Hobbit, but didn’t really expect it to either. Some nice color drawings throughout.
My wife is waiting anxiously for the last Potter book. Haven’t read a one of them and don’t plan to start. Just never got into it.
Most of us struggle with hidden (and sometimes not as hidden as we think) sins. They seem to devour us, cause us to despair, to quit fighting. Nothing seems to work; we feel outflanked and unable to defeat our unholy desires. Watching LOTR: Return of the King, I found King Theoden’s words to his men stirring and useful. His men realize they do not have enough to defeat Mordor’s orcs. They are feeling especially downcast because Aragorn has left to travel the paths of the dead and will not lead them in battle. Theoden looks at his men and says,
No…we cannot defeat them. But we will ride out to meet them in battle none the less.
The power in his voice provides a stirring illustration of the will to fight in a battle that he has no hope of winning. Continue reading
Here’s an amazing piece of dialogue between Gandalf and Frodo (from the movie, LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring) about Gollum’s presence with them in the Mines of Moria. To me, it illustrates several things: our love/hate relationship with sin and self; our inability to rid ourselves of sinful desire; God’s pity and reclaiming us (notice how in Gen. 3 God stakes his claim with us when he sets us on one side and Satan on the other. There are only two sides, God and everyone else); and finally, our place in this world and encouragement that there is another Force besides evil at work in us and the world.
(Frodo has just noticed that something is following them through the mines of Moria. Gandalf tells him it is Gollum, the former owner of the ring)
Gandalf: He hates and loves the Ring just as he hates and loves himself. He will never be rid of his need for it.
Frodo: Its a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance!
Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.
Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.