Monday, July 16, 2007

Forgiven to Forgive

I am back in the West this week running around in the woods doing some training. It has been great but I miss my family who has stayed in Gondor. One of the really great privileges of doing what I do is who I work with. Overseas workers are frail and human like everyone else and yet I believe that our King has created some truly remarkable people to go and do what we go and do. This week I have met some great folks. One man I have met this week is yet another study in the transforming power of our great King and with his permission I would like to tell you about him.

Thengle is a small man with a huge smile. He was born in the far east of Middle Earth in a war torn part of the world East of Dale. When he was just twelve years old his father was killed by an old family friend who turned him in so that he could save himself and increase his own fortunes. Thengle was separated from his family and forced into the army. He served as a child soldier for a short time before rejoining his mother and escaping to the refugee camps of a neighboring country. To their surprise his father’s murderer was also their in the camp. Thengle and his family made a plan to murder him in revenge. At that same time however, Thengle began listening to some interesting volunteers in the camp. These people were very different from anyone he had ever met before. They talked about Jesus and a God of love and grace. Thengle hungered for such a God in his life. He and his family became followers of Jesus. They prayed about how to kill their enemy. They believed in the verses that were taught to them that God would give them what they asked for so they asked God to kill their father’s murderer. God spoke to Thengle one day and informed him that vengeance belonged to God alone. Thengle was content. He believed that God would kill his enemy for him.

Thengle and his family moved to the West. He was educated. He grew in grace and love of the Lord Jesus and forgot about his enemy. Then God called him to go back to Middle Earth and proclaim His Kingdom. As he prepared to go Thengle was encouraged to tie up any loose ends in his life. Unresolved relationships could cause bitterness that would cripple his effectiveness. He went to see his mother one day and she told him that the man who killed his father was still alive. He had not thought about this man for years but was amazed to hear that this man was not only alive but he too lived in the West. In fact, he too was a follower of Jesus now. Thengle’s mother went to see this man and last year she sat next to him in his Church and told him that she forgave him. Thengle forgave him as well and rejoices at the goodness of our heavenly father.

Thengle trusted God to kill his enemy and God was faithful to do so. Thengle’s enemy is well and truly dead and in his place God has raised up a brother in Christ. May heaven be filled with men and women like this.


Anonymous said...

Strider, Thanks for sharing this story! I wish it were like that always but unfortunately it is not some ppl I know are full of hate and refuse to let go of it therefore in my humble opinion God can't work, maybe one day.... Take Care and looking forward to your return. Angie.

Cyle Clayton said...

This has nothing to do with your post, but I just wondered. Have you read Children of Hurin? And, another is this. I noticed you read Sky & Telescope. Are you an amateur astronomer, for if ou are we have far too much in common.

Strider said...

I knew that Children of Hurin came out but I am out of touch and can't get a hold of it yet. I am on homeleave next summer so maybe then.
I have a six inch meade from Walmart but I enjoy binoculars more often than not on a clear night. I am not consistent with the astronomy thing but if any special events happen, like the transit of venus two years ago or the opposition of Mars four years ago I love to take the national guys out and observe with them. It is always a good talking point to get to the grandeur of God.
This month the meteor shower will coincide with the new moon so it should be good. I will be traveling with a national pastor that night so we may well have a chance to sit, talk, observe, and share truth with others. We will see.

Haldir said...

That is a great story. The desire for vengeance is not something we can just pretend does not exist; but it can be "baptized" and put into God's hands. There can (eventually) be real peace, and we can pray for justice as well as learn to love our enemies and pray for their good, without any contradiction. This story is one of the miracles stemming from the Great Victory.

This story also meshes well with the "Pity" passage in LOTR: "Many that live deserve death." Ten-fingered Frodo then was something like angry Jonah under his vine: disappointed that mercy seemed to nullify justice. Part of the greatness of our God is that, on the contrary, justice is not nullified by mercy, or vice versa. However, this fact is difficult for many of us to grasp. But nine-fingered Frodo and Thengle both got to see it demonstrated. I wonder if serious scars are requisite to understand this truth.

For several years I also lived in Middle Earth. For awhile I was in Arnor, and then several years the Misty Mountains. (Of course my map might differ from yours.) Anyway, I learned the Common Speech and got to love it there; but the time at last came for me to take to the havens. I still miss the wonderful food, among other things. It does me good to read your stories. Thanks for sharing them.

Strider said...

Thanks for stopping by Haldir. I suspect I understand your 'map' well enough to guess where you have served. God bless you as you continue to grow up into Him.