Recently I asked some family and friends to share which character they identify with in the film The Lord of the Rings. Many of the responses were predictable. We laughed and tried to predict who would pick which one and why. Who would be Frodo or his loyal sidekick Samwise Gamgee? There were the hero wanna-be’s who chose Aragorn. The romantics chose the elegant Legolas. Those who longed for beauty chose Éowyn.
Funny, no one identified with the dwarf Gimli.
I most resonated with Boromir who is a deeply flawed man. The fissures in his character show up when he is given the opportunity to steel the powerful weapon/ring from Frodo. He becomes crazed with an obsession to have the ring. Ostensibly to do good for the realm of men, but no doubt to heal some deeper soul-wound and fulfill his hero fantasy.
Boromir tries to take the ring by force and in the struggle Frodo slips the magic ring on his finger and disappears leaving Boromir flailing about. It is here Boromir’s rage and passion dissipate and he “comes to himself” only to realize that he has failed the temptation to resist the seduction of the ring. He weeps and is filled with shame and regret. Meanwhile Frodo and the ring—he and the company had been charged to keep safe—are gone. Suddenly other hobbits are in danger and Boromir rises to fulfill his heroic calling by defending the lesser characters to the death. And he succeeds…in dying.
That’s my guy. A mixture of heroic and tragic wrapped up in the flesh of man. I have it in me to say wonderful things about you and your Creator-God. I have it in me to rip your soul from your bosom and eat it for lunch. I have it in me to pray deep and profound prayers to Jesus and before the day is done to forget that prayer and let words of curse and woe flow from my lips like water from a spigot.
I need Someone to integrate my two selves.
In Boromir’s death scene he looks into the face of the king of men, Aragorn and says, “I would have followed you my brother, my captain, my king.”
But that is the problem. No other man can integrate my Boromir soul. Wholeness comes from the indwelling of different kind of Brother, a different kind of Captain, and a different kind of King. True soul integration comes not from within this earthly realm. It comes from above; from outside our reality. It comes from the Jesus of the Bible.
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
There is a Captain of Hosts.
There is a King of kings.
Let’s go to Him.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” Matthew 11:28-29 (MSG)