Here we are in week three in the land of Middle Earth. So many life lessons can be drawn from this classic fictional tale. So, I feel it’s worth a closer look inside the lives of characters that inhabit this wondrous place.
Yes, it is true that much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy focused on battles, skirmishes, and hand-to-hand combat. Whenever you pit good against evil the sparks are going to fly. However, there were other sorts of battles that took place where very few could see. Yet, they were pivotal, may I even say crucial ,to the fall or rise of the main characters themselves.
The character of Arwen is one of those who fought not with sword and shield (though she did take on all nine Nazgul while getting Frodo to safety), but with her faith and strength of character. Though she was not originally part of the story, (Arwen was a footnote in the appendix where it was mentioned she married King Aragorn) yet in the movie version she had a more prominent role. There she was very much involved with Aragorn and his struggles to take on or reject the role destiny had for him.
Arwen being an elf brought something different into the lives of ordinary mortals. Elves already have a certain deeper spiritual strength that at times literally beams from them in words or actions. So, she had stunning beauty and strength of character whenever she interacted with others. Aragorn was worn and dirty from his travels around the earth, but he could always come home and be welcomed into a pristine and almost heavenly retreat. Even just the sound of her voice was soothing enough to wash the weariness from his body.
Theirs was a true love story: Two people from two different worlds that were often in contrast. Yet, like all legends of old, they too became the love story that was tested with all the troubles that life could throw at it. Everything wanted to tear them part. Think Romeo and Juliette on a grander scale. With the fate of the free people’s of Middle Earth fighting against the Dark Lord Sauron’s masses of minions, they fought a quiet war themselves to protect their relationship.
Arwen’s people lived eternally. She bore a symbol of that around her neck which she willingly offered to Aragorn at that last meeting. He wore it in honor of their love. It was sort of their constant connection over vast distance and time. When he was in trouble or vexed, they had a way to find comfort and strength. When Aragorn was on the brink of death, Arwen came to him in a vision. She prayed that the grace that she found was passed on to him. He found strength to get up again and continue the battle ahead.
While the world was fighting with muscle and power, Arwen fought a battle in the spirit. Maybe the rest of the world would have laughed at a war being waged that no one else saw. If they couldn’t quantify it with armies, weapons, wins or loses, then it wasn’t worth their time. But, maybe they forgot that the character and soul of a person has great value. When the body wants to falter and fail, there has to be something else that makes them push on. When others break and run, what makes others stay and fight?
I would like to say that a sword did not defeat your enemies. They have swords, too and other things that in many ways wield more power than the good guys. There has to be something more; something more powerful working in those doing what is right. Might I say that it comes from God who enables those that the world deems weak, yet they find the power to overcome.
I think when you look at Aragorn and Arwen’s story arc, the end becomes very satisfying and defining. They chose to live a life of love and faith. In that moment where the king meets his queen, the whole world, including a doubting frowning father, see what is born from that struggle.
Hold fast if you are fighting those internal struggles. Remember that you have access to eternity too, through the person of Jesus. Don’t you want to pass through the fires, the floods, and the storms, to face what lies ahead? I hope you will see those around you smiling and cheering you on for not giving up and choosing to let love be your guide.