When I first started this blog in 2006 I was keen to get my stories written down. Tales from Middle Earth was to be a place where anyone could go and find out the story that God was telling in the world around me. I had a lot of romantic notions about that. I thought that my life would be so fascinating that thousands of people would log on every week to find out the amazing things God was doing here in Middle Earth. I told myself that I was being 'brutally honest' because I would share the good and the bad. The great days with the wonderful miracles along with the depressing days and the rotten setbacks. I think I have accomplished much of what I set out to do in that regard (except of course, that about 20 people read this blog instead of thousands but I don't mind).
But the stories are fake in one important aspect. Each blog post comes to an end but real life doesn't. Shoot, even when when one of the subjects in my blogpost dies it is not really the end of their story. Take the young woman who was murdered a few years ago. She sought the truth, we tried to share with her whole family but they wouldn't listen and then one day she was murdered. End of story right? Wrong. She left behind several books that were picked up by a cousin who shared them with an Aunt who sought out Bible study with some others and now there is a small church. The story goes on even when we don't. I remember writing a brutal post about one of this lady's relatives and how he had rejected the Gospel and chose @#!*% . But today he is a follower of Jesus. The story goes on well past the publishing date of my blog post.
This is a really hard thing to live with actually. You see, while we can take comfort in the fact that no defeat is final it also means that no victory is sure. I have written much about Frodo. A man of great faith who led my national team of Church Planters for six years. Frodo was prophetic in his nature, he called others to account and turned many to the Lord. I have seen him stand in the midst of a village that was tearing itself apart in greed, and mistrust, and who knows what all, and call for peace. He got others to work together to accomplish what they never thought they could accomplish. After we showed the Jesus film in a village once he went to do marriage counseling at 12:30 at night. Everyone else was exhausted and surely we had done enough for one day but he kept going and was largely responsible for saving that couple's marriage and possibly the woman's life. He has preached to many, seen many miracles including the raising from the dead of his own Aunt. I would very much like to leave all those stories just as I wrote them. But his story goes on. Early this summer he left his wife for another woman. He lives with this young woman now and his own wife and three children are shattered. I don't understand how that can happen. I don't know where his story is going but it seems a long ways away from 'happily ever after.'
Donald Miller says that a good story is a guy who wants something and has to overcome adversity to get it. In the story we are telling there are guys. There seems to be plenty of adversity. I really believe there is something worth having in Jesus Christ. So, I guess the missing element seems to be the overcoming. I will keep writing stories as they happen but you have to understand that we are a long way away from the end. Before the end a whole lot of overcoming is going to have to happen- and keep happening.