Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Battle is Real and There Are Only Two Sides

I'm not sure exactly when it happened but at some point in my younger years I began to have a deep appreciation for epic fantasy stories.  Y'all at some point during the reading of a fantasy novel I literally just get lost in the pages and find myself standing smack dab in the story.  I have been in the back of the cupboard with Susan and Peter when we magically stumble upon the unusual land of Narnia.  I have met Asland...he's awesome!  I've stood in the grand halls of Hogwarts waiting for the sorting hat to boldly proclaim my place in Gryffindor.  I have just straight up been Katniss Everdeen and for all of you who are wondering....I'm with Gale now.  I've sat in class next to Edward Cullins and let me say that he is so much studlier in person than on the movie screen!  I have battled to win the war on middle Earth, standing right next to Legolas, as our ever replenishing arrows go soaring effortlessly off our bows and perfectly into our enemies kill zones.  The elephant counts as more than one just does!

So it's probably not really too surprising to anyone that when the Hobbit movies finally came out I was all over that!  Jake and I just finished a Hobbit/Lord of the Rings marathon.  It was perfect.  Who needs a predictable love story when there is a battle raging on middle Earth?  I mean really?!  Now that our marathon is all said and done I can't seem to get one scene out of my head.  It wasn't a grand scene by any means but I've thought about it for weeks now.  Those of you who don't do fantasy....well you just should..... and I promise there is a point that I am going to make!

So after the dragon Smaug is defeated by a brave human, a small group of legit dwarfs reclaim their lands and the vast treasures that lie within.  The humans, whose island has just been demolished by the dragons rage, head to the mountains that the dwarfs have just reclaimed, hoping the dwarfs will provide them a refuge from the harsh winter that is nearing. When the Elves hear that the dwarfs lands have been reclaimed they too head to the mountains to reclaim some of the treasure that belongs to their people.  When the dwarfs realize that the humans and the elves want into their land they close up the entrance and summon their kin from the North to help battle the elves and the humans.  So at one point you have the elves and the humans standing across from the dwarfs ready to begin battle.  

As all of this is going on the movie watcher knows what is coming...there is an army of evil just around the corner.  An army that is going to annihilate them all.  One person, Gandolf, has tried to warn them of the peril that is just around the corner but they won't listen to him.  They won't get over themselves.  They are holding on to past hurts and betrayals and it is clouding their minds.  As the evil army comes into view the humans, dwarfs, and elves in the last moment join together to fight the evil army.  Literally the last minute.  If they had listened they could have joined together hours before and could have been so better prepared for this battle.

As I watched this whole scene unfold I was just mad.  I was mad at the dwarfs.  The humans are the only reason that you had a land to didn't defeat the dragon...let them in and shower them with some love ya dang dwarfs.  The beautiful white stones are the elves heirloom pieces.  You have an entire mountain full of treasure so just give them their stuff!!!  Then all of you listen to Gandolf because you are supposed to be on the same team.  

The reason that I can't seem to get this scene out of my head is because I just keep thinking about how we do this.  I mean don't we sometimes get caught up in hurts and betrayals of the past and our mind gets clouded.  Instead of putting on our armor of God and standing firm next to our brothers and sisters in Christ, to battle against the coming evil, we turn the sword on the very people that our shield should be protecting.  

I am new at having a church family.  I have quickly seen the grand beauty and deep love of this family!  I have seen people open their lives and their hearts to let this family in.  I have seen people quietly serving to keep this family unit running.  I have seen people go out of their way to make someone feel loved and supported.  I have seen great generosity.  But I have also seen that we are a family that is broken and imperfect.  We walk with a limp because we are bent towards sin.  We hurt each other sometimes unintentionally and then our pride keeps us from asking forgiveness.  We walk into situations with agendas instead of open hearts.  (Oh man y'all thank the good Lord that Jesus willingly laid His life down for us!)

All of that stuff can absolutely get in the way if we let can cloud our judgement.  It can take our focus and attention off of the sheer fact that we are on the same team.  We are in this together.  Just maybe we need to look deep inside our hearts, repent, ask forgiveness, and then band together while we aim our swords at the real enemy that is real and present and ready to march over the hill at a moments notice.  There are only two sides.  

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