"Now I see fire inside the mountain, I see fire burning the trees. And I see fire hollowing souls, and I see fire, blood in the breeze. And I hope that you remember me."
That's the chorus to the song Ed Sheeran wrote for the credits of the new Hobbit movie that was just released. The song is beautiful - lyrically genius for all of my fellow Tolkien nerds out there - and it's acoustic Ed at his best. But beyond those aspects, I've been weirdly affected by this song. I can't stop listening to it, and I couldn't figure out why until today, which is why I'm finally blogging after approximately 7 months. Haha, oops. This seems to be a pattern...
For those of you who haven't seen the newest installment of Peter Jackson's (loosely-based on the actual book -_-) Hobbit trilogy, the second movie ends with Smaug leaving the mountain and heading to Laketown (that's not a spoiler, I promise). And Bilbo climbs up onto this rock, looking after the dragon and says, "What have we done?" I loved that ending despite my complaining about other portions of the film. I love it because there's this promise of fire, death, destruction, and Bilbo realizes he and the dwarves are responsible for a large portion of what's to come, good and bad. "What have we done?" I find myself asking that question in my own life - "what have I done?" Hindsight is always 20/20, and I wish so often for a time machine to go back and change things I say and do in the past.
And this is where Ed's lyrics come in, at the end of the chorus: "And I hope that you remember me." Through all of the things I do and all of the experiences and happenings in this world, that is my prayer. "God, please remember me." Honesty hour: I felt distant from God for a large portion of this semester. Just like the dwarves headed back to Erebor, I saw fire inside the mountain, I saw burning trees, I saw blood in the breeze. And I kept asking myself where God was in it. "Do you remember me, Jesus??" It became less of a prayer and more of a question. I started doubting God's love and goodness, despite His obvious provision in my life.
In the past weeks, though (I think finishing the semester had a lot to do with the timing...), God started to soften my heart again. He revealed great kindness to me through my friends here in Albuquerque. He quieted my soul. He reminded me that even when I am faithless, He is faithful because He cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13). He showed me that when I look back, aghast - questioning like Bilbo, "What have I done?" - that He is bigger than that, He is in the fire and the bloody breeze. He showed me that not only does He remember me always, He consistently works on my behalf.
I still don't get this world. I never will. I don't understand the death, the sadness, the suffering. Why do good people get taken from this world too soon? Why are beautiful young children torn from life in these horrific school shootings? Why must war continue and my friends and my friends' family members be called upon to put themselves in harms' way? A lot of my time is taken up by this sort of worry. But today I read George Whitefield's sermon entitled "Contemplating Christmas." He says, "Let your time be spent in thinking and talking of the love of Jesus, who was incarnate for us, who was born of a woman, and made under the law, to redeem us from the wrath to come." I'm trying to refocus now, fixing my eyes on the love of Jesus, asking the Holy Spirit to convict me, to teach me, to guide me. Allowing the love of Christ and the miracle of His birth to mold my heart this Christmas especially.
It's going to take time, that's for sure, but my pastor directed us to Revelation this past Sunday, and spoke on Revelation 1:17-18 where Jesus says, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." Now here's the spoiler alert: Jesus wins. In fact, He already won. There's fire in the mountain because the devil hates defeat, but Jesus holds the keys. And Jesus Christ leaves us with this truth: "Fear not. I remember you. Always."