|To LOTR fans, yes, I know this picture isn't of the sceneI describe below, but I think it represents it well enough.|
**Warning: if you have not read/watched LOTR, this is a bit of a spoiler. Not crucial or central to the main conflict, but a spoiler none the less.**
I was reading The Lord of the Rings yesterday (for the second time; I don't think I'll ever tire of that book). And I saw something that I had never really noticed before. Something that brought me to tears.
If you've read/watched all of LOTR, you'll know that Éowyn eventually marries Faramir. She realises that she really only loved Aragorn because of his nobility and valiance, and the chance he could have given her to rise above the drudgery of court life and win renown. As Aragorn says to Éomer, "In me she loves only a shadow and a thought: a hope of glory and great deeds, and lands far from the fields of Rohan."
Anyway, after wrestling through pain over her love for Aragorn, and realising finally what her heart really desires, she falls in love with and marries Faramir. In the scene where their wedding is announced, Tolkien writes this:
"Then Éowyn looked in the eyes of Aragorn, and she said: 'Wish me joy, my liege-lord and healer!'
And he answered: 'I have wished you joy ever since first I saw thee. It heals my heart to see thee now in bliss.' "
At this, I willingly admit I burst into tears. Why? Because this beautiful, beautiful scene is very similar to something that has happened in my life, and I would guess in the lives of many other girls.
You see, I once loved an Aragorn.
OK, not loved. Liked. My first crush. While I did know him fairly well, I think I at least in part liked "in him only a shadow and a thought." And do we not do this often? Don't we construct an image of the 'perfect husband' or 'dreamy boyfriend' and then when we find a guy slightly like that, we paste his face onto our image and 'like him,' when we don't really like him for him, we just like the image we have put his face on? And so we wrestle with a crush, and through pain.
And then we get over it. Which is what happened to me. (You can read a bit more about that here.) And we move on, and learn, and years down the track we realise how much we've learnt from that experience. Which is what happened to me.
Near the start of this year, I had a scene somewhat similar to the one above. Different, but in essence the same. I saw that guy I'd had a crush on over 6 years ago. He's still awesome. And as we talked, inside, I was just looking at him and marvelling. Marvelling over how much God taught me through this one boy. As far as I know, he still doesn't know it, but my crush on him is what started all this. This learning curve. My new convictions. This blog.
And (I'm going to start crying again) just as Éowyn looked into Aragorn's eyes and knew that her heart was healed, the past was the past, a new journey had begun, and she could say with freedom and without hesitation "Wish me joy!" so I suddenly realised that I could look into this boys eyes with clear vision, a whole heart, on a new journey, and with freedom and without hesitation say "I love you as a brother, God has used you in my life mightily, an I am so very, very thankful." (I didn't say it out loud, but my heart knew it.)
Oh, God be thanked for that moment, and for those moments you have experienced! God shows up in them. Suddenly the veil is rent and we see His work, His perfect timing, His abundant grace, his never-failing love.
I'm not going to turn this into a post with a lesson. I know it's not as elegant or as tightly connected as I might like. Honestly, it is just flowing from the joy in my heart. Those two lines in LOTR made me wonder afresh and literally cry for joy at the almighty sovereignty and grace and love of our Lord.