There is truth to be found in the magic of our favorite childhood stories.
Growing up, I LOVED the Lord of the Rings. Well, before I loved middle earth, I loved Narnia. Hard. There was something about these fantastical places that captured the depth of my imagination and wonder.
And because of exactly when I was coming of age, I loved the film adaptations of these beloved stories as well. Purists get angry about the book and movies not matching the books in the way they pictured they would, but that is art, in whatever form- it is the artist who makes it what they want.
In the Two Towers movie, Sam has a line that has stuck with me for the truth of its meaning. In a moment of intense despair, when Frodo is exhausted from this seemingly impossible mission he has been tasked with, he asks Sam what they are doing this for, Sam replies:
“There is still good in the world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”
Well hello little beautiful nugget of spiritual truth in a fantasy film, hello!
It is so true. I am often tempted to despair when I look at the world around me, Sometimes it is difficult to catch a glimpse of the good because the bad is loud and in-your-face. I tend to feel overwhelmed by the negative. Despair and grief can even seem like a morally responsible thing to do.
Ecclesiastes has been a book that meets me in this place of tempted-to-despair. Chapter three says this:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-14a, NIV
The whole book is great, but this passage reminds me that it is good and beautiful work to enter into sadness and grief for the way the world is. We are able to join in the lament of our fellow human beings and that is good and something I believe God calls us to do.
But there is also a time for rejoicing. For seeing the good in the world when everything feels like darkness.
There is a time to declare, like Sam, that even though it is difficult and painful at times, that:
There is good in this world and it is worth fighting for.