The Gospel According to The Lord of the Rings: Week 56, Is Everything Sad Going to Come Untrue?

The Ring falls into the Crack of Doom with Gollum. And with that, the power of Sauron is destroyed. All the works of the Dark Lord disintegrate and blow away. The Nazgûl fall from the sky.

Rescue comes to Sam and Frodo when Gandalf arrives with the Eagles. Sam awakes among friends and surrounded by the green, living things in Ithilien. Upon waking and seeing Gandalf, whom he last saw falling into the abyss with the Balrog in the Mines of Moria, Sam exclaims in disbelief:

“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.
In the Book of Revelation Jesus declares, "Behold, I am making all things new!" Our hope is looking toward "a New Heavens and a New Earth" where "everything sad" is mended and healed.

Of course, as is so often said, Christians live in the world "between the times." Our enemy has been defeated, the Great Shadow has departed. Newness and life have begun to break out. And as Tolkien recounted, he shed tears of joy as he wrote the pages after the defeat of Sauron, sharing with us the sweet reunions between the Company. These scenes from the story are Easter scenes.

And yet, sad and broken things still remain. There is still work to be done, evil still afoot. As we'll soon learn, all is not well in the Shire. And Frodo is never full healed of his wound from Weathertop. Like us, Middle-Earth begins to live "between the times," between the Departure of the Shadow and the Grey Havens. All is not perfect or whole, but the Shadow has departed and "the pure sound of merriment" has returned to life. This joy a foretaste of what awaits us. The green things are growing again. And we live in hope that everything sad will, one day, come untrue.

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