Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…
So as you watch this clip, who do you associate yourself with? Is it Aragorn and his strength, Legolas and his skill, Gandalf with his power, Frodo with a mission or Gimli with his ferocity? Maybe I feel a little less noble and strong, maybe I can really relate to Boromir and his attempts to be noble, but his lust for power gets to him, or I feel like Sam the good friend of someone with a mission and I want to make sure they feel supported. Many times, I feel like Merry and & Pippin lost in self-gratification not knowing what to do.
This scene had a profound unexpected effect on me. I was shocked to see how my heart reacted to the characters. Instead of relating to the ‘main’ characters, I was caught off guard by the profound amount of emotion and empathy I felt for the “Cave Troll.”
In the scene you can see that this “Troll” has a chain around his neck. This brings up some questions.
Is he someones pet?
What was he like as a little cave troll?
What did they do to him to shape him into this angry, violent monster?
What if one of our “heroes” knew the troll language, or had some troll food. Could this enemy have been tamed, befriended or at least set free?
The real question for me was who or what is my enemy? I was told my entire life about a Devil who was out to destroy my life. I was told that he uses music, movies, seductive women, drugs and temptations of all kinds to seduce me into darkness. I needed to defend the faith, to battle the devil and his kingdom of darkness through prayer, scripture declarations and even fasting.
Jesus seemed at ease around these supposed enemies. Even during his great temptation in the desert the enemy could find “no place in him.” He did not defend himself or argue doctrines or beliefs with this enemy. Jesus’ lack of defense revealed a supreme security.
Personally I have spent so much time in my life polarizing people, groups, beliefs into some sort of enemy. That way I know who I can criticize, judge, inflict punishment on. At the same time I have hidden and defended my pain, projected my judgements and fears on all sorts of people. Always imagining that I am Aragorn fighting for some lost freedom.
Matthew 11:12 – From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.
I don’t think Jesus in the above passage was approving of violence. Perhaps he was illuminating the struggle we are engaged in, one we have created. If I perceive you are keeping me from what I want, you then become my enemy. If Heaven has what I want then I will go in and take it.
Letting go of the need to have enemies “out there” I realize, “I’m the Troll.” I am the real enemy. My fear and pain have been my shelter, I have allowed myself to be used and abused to hopefully find somewhere to belong. I have a big chain around my neck, I’m tired, hungry and dying. I use this anger toward my enemies to justify the violence I use on them.
Perhaps my cry was for something I had never lost. I was taught to seek love and to withhold it from those I feared. This process had lead me to a world of chaos, blinded by need, lost in what is unacceptable. I found myself incapable of accepting love and kindness. I was invested in my story of pain.
If you can relate to this story, I pray that you may find comfort and rest in the willingness to surrender all to God as you know him. Realizing your life is out of control, accepting you are being run by your feelings and thoughts is the first step in true spiritual growth.
May whatever you feel you need to defend find peace in giving up the need to have enemies. For if I love my enemies, I suddenly do not have any.
“Love is what we are born with.
Fear is what we learn.
The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices
and the acceptance of love back in our hearts.
Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth.
To be consciously aware of it,
to experience love in ourselves and others,
is the meaning of life.
Meaning does not lie in things.
Meaning lies in us.”
Nothing Real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the Peace of God.
– A Course in Miracles