I've been digging into my ancestors. It started as just to find some background for my own writing. Then, it got personal, and I'm trying to sort it all out. What is God calling me to write? After that, a tragedy happened in our community where a woman was shot to death by her estranged husband and then he killed himself. I knew her. My boys worked with her. I talked over colleges and careers with her and her daughter. It reminded me of the many times I came close to being killed in much the same manner as she was, but for some reason it never happened. Bullets flew by my head, but never touched me. Night after night of endless talking my tortured father from committing suicide and taking us with him. It was a time of my life full of pain and suffering emotionally, but I lived. I survived. I'd go to church and school afterwards, smile and not talk about it. This woman did not get that chance. I have no answers for that.
In times of grief and suffering we often question if we can go on. The opposition and obstacles are great; we are unsure of survival. Is it worth the risk? Life is like that. It is full of risk but not everyone takes it. Everyone has a life with these same questions and risks, and we often question if we can go on knowing what we do, but also not knowing.
This is from a conversation between Sam and Frodo in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien:
Frodo Baggins: I can't do this Sam.
Sam Gamgee: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.
Whatever you are fighting for, keep fighting. Whatever has you in the grip of that despair or struggle, it's worth going on. Rest if you must. Take a deep breath. Clear your head. You are holding on. Don't give up. Never give up until God calls you Home.
Crystal Warren Miller