I know I have posted a lot today, or at least more than usual, but bear with me! On Twitter, I am following numerous people. One such “person” (or is it page?) is J.R.R. Tolkien. Obviously, he has been dead for some time now, but the page posts quotes either by him or from his books. Today, one of his posts is from his infamous The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King:
“Suddenly Faramir stirred, and he opened his eyes, and he looked on Aragorn who bent over him; and a light of knowledge and love was kindled in his eyes, and he spoke softly. ‘My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?’
‘Walk no more in the shadows, but awake!’ said Aragorn. ‘You are weary. Rest a while, and take food, and be ready when I return.”- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Now, you may be wondering, “What business does this quote have being posted by a Christian blogger on a Christian blog?” Well, in case you didn’t know, much of Tolkien’s work is a reflection of his Christian theology. Whether he intentionally weaved his theology into his writing or not makes no difference. The point is that if you examine his works you have to admit a lot of it flows from Christian thought/beliefs.
This quote, taken from the third book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, echoes much of what Christ calls his followers to do. Tolkien is not like C.S. Lewis when it comes to allegory, but there are instances where some of his characters act similar to biblical characters. In this quote, Aragorn is a Christ-like figure, much like Aslan. I wouldn’t say that Aragorn is at all times throughout the trilogy a Christ-like figure, but he certainly has moments. This is one of them.
Here, Faramir has been injured from battle, if you remember, and Aragorn is working at healing him. Faramir has been unconscious for some time while Aragorn has been tending to him. While Aragorn has been watching over him he has continually called out to Faramir. Finally, he stirs and he knows exactly who is caring for him. It is the King! It seems that Faramir knew the voice of the King and that he was calling for him! He awakes and love is kindled in his eyes at the sight of his lord.
Aragorn seems to command him to no longer walk in the shadows of death, but to awake, rest, take food, and wait for the King to return.
Does this not echo the words of Jesus in the New Testament? Christ calls out saying, “Repent! (awake!), for the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the Gospel!” Even his call to come to him:
Matthew 11:28–30 (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
All you who are weary and tired on your journey, stop by the well that is full of Living Water. Follow the shepherd to his springs that flow and he will heal you, refresh you, and strengthen you.
Psalm 23 (ESV)
23 A Psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Revelation 7:17 (ESV)
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Will you be his servant who awakes from your sin-induced slumber? Allow the Savior to care for your wounds with his loving, nail-pierced hands. Then, let the light of knowledge and love kindle your eyes as you see him watching over you, waiting for you to come to him. “Walk no more in the shadows, but awake!” says Jesus. ‘You are weary. Rest a while, and take food, and be ready when I return.” Follow him, lean on him, serve him, please him, and wait for his return!
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.