Tuesday, October 18, 2011
My Hero Gollum
Is there something good in all of us? Something redeemable? Something God can use?
I drink so much Starbucks that I've become friends with all the employees in the greater Chattanooga area. I've also used every restroom, regularly (lame pun alert). My goal is to befriend all of Tennessee, the US and finally the world. Then wherever there's a Starbucks, there's a friend of mine.
Anyhow, one of my better friends at Starbucks posed this question above to me as we talked about Tolkien and more specifically Gollum. His claim is that Gollum is a hero of sorts. That he is the one that accomplishes the mission of the entire Lord of The Rings Trilogy: He destroys the ring and defeats evil.
Sure he does so by biting off Frodo's finger, dancing about in selfish glee over the fires of Mt. Moriah and eventually falling to his doom. I'm not sure this is what Tolkien was getting at, but something within me resonates with the idea of Gollum being a hero of sorts.
Maybe it's because he was always the most fun to immitate. "Fishes, fishes, my precioussss." I can picture my brother Taylor and I scuttling about in our underwear doing our best Gollum impersonations. He was so much fun. In fact, in my early 30's I impersonated him in Vancouver at a swimming hole that was too cold for non-Gollumsies.
I swam across and dove down, revelling in the water, only to crawl up on the other side, perch on a rock with my fresh fishy, glare hatred at the weird humansies and hiss at them. I love being Gollum.
And in a lot of ways I am Gollum. I constantly learning the hard way about life. I strain against God's will and look for preciousses in other places than in Him. But what's fantastic about the Gollum story is that Tolkein uses Gollum's selfish desires to accomplish something really good, the destruction of the RING OF DOOM.
Perhaps he uses my selfishness and sin to do the same. Perhaps, in learning the hard lessons, I'm growing less like Gollum and more like my creator, seeking him more than all the glittering preciouses. Perhaps.
Tolkien definitely wants us to pity Gollum. He gives a detailed back-story of the poor guy, and we see the pain that has ruled his life. Deep pain and rejection. In the story Gollum even seems to begin to reform. I believe Tolkien wants us to relate.
Why? Perhaps because Gollum is a creature that has the imprint of a creator. He was created good. Evil has bent, twisted and corroded him to the point of bare recognition. But in the end, Tolkien uses the evil to accomplish good.
There's a lesson hear about God's good will being accomplished. That no evil can thwart his goodness. That even our own evilness, our hell-bent desires and selfishness, will ultimately accomplish his purpose.
It's an encouraging thought, and the hope of everyone who believes in redemption: God will bring good from the most evil of circumstances. Good will win. God will win!
It's the greatest hope of the believer that no evil will seperate us from the love we have in Christ - specifically the evil within.