A book quote and a song

The empty tomb. Or is it a hobbit home?

The empty tomb. Or is it a hobbit home?

Happy Easter, everyone! The tomb is empty! Christ is risen!

There is a passage at the end of Tolkien’s Return of the King that knocks me out every time. A few years ago I reread the trilogy just to get to that passage with the same build up of emotion at all the hobbits and the rest of the fellowship had gone through: Terror, exhaustion, despair, hope beyond hope, and then — that morning after everything, after the terrible journey, after looking in the face of evil, after clasping hands with Frodo and waiting to die, Sam wakes up. And the description of his thoughts and feelings upon awaking, even though it is in a fantasy book about hobbits, elves, and wizards, is as evocative of the resurrection as any Easter day sermon.

When Sam awoke, he found he was lying on some soft bed, but over him gently swayed wide beechen boughs, and through their young leaves sunlight glimmered, green and gold. All the air was full of a sweet mingled scent.

He remembered that smell: the fragrance of Ithilien. ‘Bless me!’ he mused, ‘how long have I been asleep?’ For the scent had borne him back to the day when he had lit his little fire under the sunny bank; and for the moment all else between was out of waking memory. He stretched and drew a deep breath. ‘Why what a dream I’ve had!’ he muttered. ‘I am glad to wake!’ He sat up and then he saw that Frodo was lying beside him, and slept peacefully, one hand behind his head and the other resting upon the coverlet. It was the right hand, and the third finger was missing.

Full memory flooded back and Sam cried aloud, ‘It wasn’t a dream! Then where are we?’

And a voice spoke softly behind him, ‘In the land of Ithilien and in the keeping of the King; and he awaits you.’ With that Gandalf stood before him, robed in white, his beard now gleaming like pure snow in the twinkling of the leafy sunlight. ‘Well, Master Samwise, how do you feel?’ he said.

But Sam lay back and stared with open mouth, and for a moment, between bewilderment and great joy, he could not answer. At last he gasped: ‘Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?’

‘A great Shadow has departed,’ said Gandalf, and then he laughed and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days upon days without count. It fell upon his ears like the echo of all the joys he had ever known. But he himself burst into tears. Then, as a sweet rain will pass down a wind of spring and he sun will shine out the clearer, his tears ceased, and his laughter welled up, and laughing he sprang from his bed.

‘How do I feel?’ he cried. ‘Well, I don’t know how to say it. I feel, I feel’ – he waved his arms in the air – ‘I feel like spring after winter, and sun on the leaves; and like trumpets and harps and all the songs I have ever heard!โ€

“Is every sad thing going to come untrue?” Yes, Sam, I truly believe it is. Jesus is alive, and death itself has lost its sting. Allelujah


If you liked my take on Jesus’ words in the sermon on the mount in my last post, you might also like this incredible song by Josh Cole and the World’s Quietest Band.

Josh asked me to “be sure to let people know that video is an interactive salon concert aimed at awakening the creative spirits of the audience through experimentation and participation and not some cult!” So, you know, it’s not. ๐Ÿ™‚ But if it were a cult it looks like it would be a fun one. If you’re interested in hosting a house concert for the World’s Quietest band, you can reach Josh at josh@joshcole.com

The first shall be the last
the last shall be the first
but you can be refreshment
to all you meet who thirst

Don’t you worry about your place in line
just find a dark place and shine

There is Treasure up in heaven
much greater than on earth
you gotta figure now how youโ€™re gonna figure out
where you want to cash in your true worth

Don’t you worry about about what’s yours and mine
just find a dark place and shine

The things you see around now
they all will pass away
so think about the good things
you can do right here today

Don’t you worry about the passing time
just find a dark place and shine


8 comments on “A book quote and a song

  1. Hope Wiltfong says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I felt exactly the same when reading Sam’s description – I think this is exactly how we will feel and rejoice in that great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The best part is this song and the quote are already super related. I have read LOTR 12 times I believe. I hate the movies because they don’t show an understanding of the concepts that are implicit and explicit in this quote. Thank you!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Josh, that’s really cool! I was feeling frustrated because *I* couldn’t see the connection, but the quote and your song were both insisting that they be my Easter blog post. “We must write the story that wants to be written.” ~Madeleine L’Engle

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Really lovely script inserted there. Every sad thing becoming untrue..how glorious.


  4. Sarah says:

    This post is pretty much ignoring the fact that “gay” people or as I like to call us, just people, can’t be gay and be a Christian. ๐Ÿ˜’


    • Hi Sarah! I think you meant to post this on my Bake For Them Two post? I absolutely agree that it’s possible to be gay and be a Christian, and I apologize if my post made it seem otherwise.


  5. You have done a very godly thing, Jessica. Are you ok? I hope you have a support group that is praying for you now. I am.


  6. Thomas Bedwell says:

    I had never made the connection of Tolken’s words and the resurrection. Every sad thing becoming untrue…beautiful! Thank you for sharing this.


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