A Dog, a Hobbit, and a Prayer

We named our dog Samwise after you-know-who. They even look alike, don’t you agree? Plus, they are both so beautifully loyal. I love everything about the role of Sam in The Lord of the Rings, but I want to tell you my very favorite quote from Sam–and quite possibly one of my favorite lines from both the movie and book.It’s when Frodo is about done-in and Sam, desperate to help but unable to relieve his friend of his burden, cries, “Come on, Mr. Frodo! I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!”

And while Frodo carries his burden, Sam carries Frodo, and together they get to where they need to go.

And every time I watch the movie (dozens, now) or read the book (once and counting) and get to that line, I think of… well… us. The body of believers.

How I wish we could simply take each other’s burdens and cast them away.

Oh, sometimes we can do alot. Sometimes there are burdens (like a financial need, for example) that we can ease or even eliminate for each other.

But lots of burdens aren’t so easily dismissed. And then we have the glorious opportunity to carry each other. Praying together. Crying together. Laughing together. Trusting God together. And it matters. A lot.

Would it be irreverant of me to ask Jesus every now and then if I can be Samwise to someone’s Frodo, and who that someone might be, and how I can carry them for a spell?

I don’t want to be irreverent. The thing I actually want is to be like Christ, and to be His hands and arms to people around me, loving them in beautiful, tangible ways. I’m not comparing Sam to Christ, not by a long shot.

But somehow the image of one tattered, dirty, tearstreaked Samwise struggling to lift his best friend is an image that hits home for me.

And if the Lord can use the image of a scruffy, loyal hobbit (or my own scruffy loyal canine) to remind me to work a little harder to make a difference in the lives of those around me, I think that’s a doggone good thing.

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