If you happen to have some degree of interest in literary works of fantasy, you will find a common theme littered throughout. That theme is one of self-sacrifice. In many great novels a propitiatory measure is being taken to ensure 'greater good'. Ingrained in our very DNA is a strive for means of happiness outside ourselves, one we cant fully understand or comprehend yet are inherently aware we possess. All of us could agree there is something wrong with the world and ourselves that elicits the need for fulfillment in other concepts: whither they be ideals of grandeur, emotional gratification or addictive stimulants. The current underlying theme of these all is the need for a sublime figure to restore peace. A champion of justice to do what is deemed most honorable. You will find it embedded within subliminal plot lines in movies: In Batman, Christian Bale take's the grenade for helpless Gotham. In 300, Leonidas taking the famous stand, dying so that Sparta can be free.Will Smith in 'I am legend' screaming behind the glass that he's holding 'the cure' yelling "your sick! I can save you!" To no avail, as he then takes the grenade so a mother and child could escape to safety. In JK Rowlings apprised series, you find Harry Potter dying so that Hogswart could be free.Well there was one hero these stories are so desperately attempting to understand: the kind of joy and satisfaction from a powerful force that sacrifices for the many. It is the silver lining in most every revered literary work down to the works of Charles Dickens; in one of many of his classic works: "A Tale of Two Cities": Sydney Carton exchanges places with his wrongfully convicted friend whose features uncannily resemble his own the night before he was sentenced to be guillotined. This apparent 'dishonor' or egregious exchange of one's life for another's out of honor, whither sub-consciously or intentionally strikes a cord within our own hears and we well find it fulfilling, it could be attributed to a emotion that strikes our sentiment with mysticism and awe.
J.R.R Tolkien's life work was spent perfecting and illuminating 'The Lord of the Rings', enlightening us to the many wonders, of his fantasy realm 'middle earth' down to the bloodlines and genealogies of elves, dwarves and men, all the way to creating his own language, that of the elves. Hollywood has mass produced his works in several visual thrillers with special effects so stocked full of impetus energy it dazzles and dizzies you. But what gets missed beneath the visual stunning allure of the special effects is the allegorical representations and hidden meanings that Tolkien places in each and every chapter of that book. Like JK Rowlings was getting at in her famous series was that same understood concept; that sometimes in order to fix a problem you have to dig into the very heart and ugly core of the issue.
In regards to "Gollum" that once innocent, yet now transfigured morbid and deformed creature, Frodo mentions: Because of "all those horrible deeds" that Gollum has done, "He deserves death." Gandalf replies, "Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it." "Sméagol's life is a sad story. Yes, Sméagol he was once called. Before the Ring found him… before it drove him mad." In reply, Frodo then says, "It's a pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance!" Gandalf candidly replies: "Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise can not see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill…" Gandalf's recitations here remind me that even the evil dark things, the unfriendlies who make their whereabouts in the dark, while they lurk about in this world have yet a part to play all for the Divine Makers will, whither willing or un-willing, most likely the latter, still yet, they have a part to play in the grand scheme of this precious tapestry we all call 'life'.
Despite all these ever-present illusions in the world, you can peer underneath and see the silver lining. We get captivated by novels of magical lore, but this is all indeed a very part of the truth, look no further than Lord Of the Rings: Gandalf, a Christ-representative, armed with the "great white light" is standing in the way of the demon "Balrog" sacrificing himself for the others behind him, by falling to the pit, yet he comes back after defeating him as stronger than ever. The hobbits journey to middle earth seemed like a fools mission, because if that little one slipped up just once, the whole future of the world would fall into blackness and terror. Yet he had to journey in the very heart of the enemy's stronghold to overcome him; one that took a death of a being (once pure) defiled, wretched and tainted by sins curse (Gollum) was the mechanism that saved all Middle Earth from the great blackness that enveloped it. In this case the heart of the problem was (violance, torture and fear).
Everything has a metaphor, underlying meaning and covert agenda one is trying to push on you; sometimes you have to peel back the veils to understand the worldview of the one telling you. In the Bible the cross was mount doom, the ring Gods grace...
Because sometimes in order to fix a problem you have to dig into the very heart and ugly core of the issue...
This world is eternity's pit stop and heaven will make Disneyland look like a Honeybucket. But to understand a Way Out, in order to get there we have no choice but to understand where we are "now." the "spiritual ghetto," the dark end of eternity's street. This is simply the world you and I were born into, the "testing ground." Perhaps the place the Programmer sorts out the parts that He wishes to keep most. It was at our conception that we made the choice that our Maker has tried to undo with incredible care, patience and self-sacrifice.
Okay that being said I'm sure most of you have seen 'The Notebook' at least once, for those that haven't, the movie details the efforts of an older husband reading the journals of his wife who suffers from a severe form of alzheimers, at the very end of the movie they get back together one last time on this earth and pass away in a hospital bed, as touching and romantic as that may be, it is essentially what I believe a representation of what God try's to do with us. Noah reading their love story back to her while desperately trying to get her to understand who He is, is basically what God does through the Bible, reading the history of the greatest love story ever that all these earthly representations unwittingly are trying so desperately to capture.
In the movie - after a while of Noah's weary recitation, she for one instance, had a moment of enlightenment, and looked at him and said all along its been you! Right before she demonizes and attacks him, just like her experience, we get these 'aha' moments and we're on fire for truth, full of vigor and geared up to do anything. Then the cares of the world quench this, but what God says is unchangeable," I who I am, I'm your best friend, savior, lover, protector, provider of every good thing you've had, just come back, you have a disease (we are all afflicted with spiritual alzheimers), just like hate-blinded zombies assaulting Will Smith in "I am Legend" yet ironically, they didn't devour themselves...because they didnt know they were sick! They didn't know he had the cure to save them, yet in the end sacrificial love won out; just like Noah's plead to his wife is God's plea to us to understand who he is to connect with us eternally. What God has showed us, is that sacrificial love is a stronger emotion than hate. We know this, because on a tree over 2 thousand years ago, love won out over hate.
This Christmas, let's remember the real reason we celebrate. The birth of the savior of the world, who came down and wallowed in the pig sty with with the worst of us, just so that you and I could experience life unending with the best of us! A life untainted from the deadly confines of this unhealthy incarceration. Life, hope, joy unending are there for the taking because of one persons birth and sacrifice. And just maybe The Son of God's heart echoed the same sentient of Sydney Cartons did in the bitter climax of (A Tale of Two Cities), as he's awaiting execution, knowing his broken body was the meeting point between heaven and earth as he stumbles on Calvary's rocky slopes with the weight of a cross his sentiment and purpose remained the same:
"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."
In the last rays of the vanishing light: "You live in my heart"
Merry Christmas Everyone,