Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Listening


I awoke the other day and realized I was living a scene right out of The Two Towers (the second movie in The Lord of the Rings trilogy). (If you haven’t seen the movie(s) I’m going to explain the scene the best I can.)

A recent event spiraled my thought life into a dizzying state.

I’ll tell you about the scene and then I’ll let you know how I got thrown in it.

Picture:
A king seated on his golden throne clutching his rod loosely in his hands, drooling. His eyes bag with disturbed sleep. His skin is shocked pale and sagged with wrinkles. He’s a feeble old man on a throne. He’s been rendered useless, shriveled in his slumped posture. They call him Theoden, King of Rohan, but this is no king.

Seated to his right, writhes his “councellor”, shrouded in black, spitting perpetual lies into the king’s ear with his forked tongue. Wormtongue poisons the king with lies. Saruman, a wizard plotting great destruction over the land bribed Wormtongue to do his dirty work—to render the King of Rohan numb…weak…powerless. So far it’s working. The king acts indifferent to an uprising. His eyes roll in his head as though on puppet strings. He’s under the influence of Saruman’s spell, stirred up by the ever-whispering Wormtongue.

Enter:
Gandalf, the resurrected Wizard.
The doors of the castle are flung open.

Gandalf and party approach the throne. The king’s indifference turns to resistance. Wormtongue spouts off quickly, feeding the king with how to react. The king listens to Wormtongue without question. Theoden doesn’t recognize Gandalf. The poison runs deep.

Gandalf lifts his staff to the old king. He points. The king cringes. Wormtongues’ eyes gape with fear. Gandalf doesn’t point once or twice; he extends his life-giving staff out to King Theoden over and over, refusing to lower it until he sees a change. And change comes.

Jerked to and fro on the chair, Theoden is stripped of the poison. His eyes gloss over to a younger, focused recollection. His skin revitalizes, flushed and kissed with life. His hair tints from a blanched white to a rich auburn. The man is restored.

But will he be the king he needs to be? (You’ll need to watch the movie for that answer.)

Back to reality:
Me in bed. My mind spins with lies. Some I’ve held onto for years. Some are new. They are whispered to me (no, I don’t really hear them…people, stay with me). I’ve believed these lies for far too long. Given them power. I’ve allowed them to render me powerless.

Enter:
My Bible. As I fold the pages back they make a fluttering sound as welcoming as the opening of castle doors. Hope is here. There is truth in there. At times I don’t recognize it as such. But everything in His word bleeds true.
~~~I resist. I’m tainted. I’m weak. I cannot be used. I am afraid.
The staff—His living words sift in my mind. The old thoughts die off. I’m restored, rejuvenated, forgiven…a royal priesthood.

His power is made perfect in my weakness.

I’ve never felt a scene from a movie capture my state of being like the one I’ve described from The Two Towers.

Question for you today: Who are you listening to?


*feel free to visit Sage Girls Ministry to read my article, Exemplify Online to read my how-to, and Christian Fiction Online Magazine to read my short story this month
**photos by flickr




27 comments:

  1. There's a book I read last year, "Lies Women Believe and the Truth that sets them Free". It lists things you hear and then what God has to say on that subject.
    Made me realize how much I do listen to the world and I didn't even know it. It was very eye opening.

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  2. I'm listening to my heart. It holds all we know, all we believe, all that is our self, and is a wonderful compass in my life.

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  3. Hey Wendy! I could just picture everything you described. It's a powerful scene. And I love the way you've related it to the lies we often believe. It's easy to let the evil one whisper poison into our ears. We definitely need the life of God's Word to breathe upon us. But I think the encouragement from friends is life-giving too! Thanks for yours! (Especially today!)

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  4. Wow, powerful scene and analogy. Thanks for sharing!

    And congrats on the article and short story! :-)

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  5. I love this post! You described the scene so poetically, and it rings so true to what has been going on in my life and walk with God. Thanks so much for sharing. You conveyed your heart and God's so beautifully.

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  6. I'm glad you could find the answers you needed! I've had plenty days like that recently where I have listend to the lies and then went to my Bible and found truth. Thank you!

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  7. My friend you captured this beautifully and with power. God's Word is the joy of my strength. When I don't feed on it, I am weak and capable of all forms of illness.

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  8. I loved those movies. You captured the essence and how we don't even realize we're being duped into a spell. Break free!

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  9. Great analogy, Wendy. It really struck a chord with me. In my own personal writing journey, I listen much too often to the voices that want to bring me down, instead of those that will build me up. For instance, it may be true that I'm not yet a good enough writer to be published, but the keyword in that phrase is *yet*. The liars say, "You'll never be good enough. Give up!" The truth is that God wants me to keep giving my best to him and use my gifts for his glory, and that means to keep working, regardless of the outcome. But, forcing myself to listen to truth over lies is a daily battle.

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  10. Wow! That is a good description. I'd never thought of it in comparison to my own life before. Hopefully, I'm listening to the Lord. It's all too easy to get distracted though, isn't it?

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  11. I hope I'm listening to God, but I know there are times I listen to the world. The important thing is to know the difference and strive to hear God's voice the loudest.

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  12. Powerful analogy! I hear those lies too, and yes new ones crop up all the time. I'm reading a great book right now on that very topic called, "Facing your giants" by Max Lucado. RUN and get this book Wendy! It will change you and take down the giants in your life through the word. Amazing.

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  13. I have felt that scene in my life! Great post. :)

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  14. What a great analogy! I love that movie and that scene!

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  15. That was beautiful! I can definitely relate - and you describe it perfectly :-)

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  16. awesome...I've had days like that too and then poof....the word...His word...truth reigns again...

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  17. Good reminder to be careful of the voices we listen to.

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  18. LOVE IT! First, because I'm obsessed with Lord of the Rings. I wish Gandalf could be my grandpa. You do know I'm teaching my son Elvish, right? You never know when you might run into Legalos one day.

    Second, because what a great analogy.

    And third, because it totally reminds me of that one song. You know, that song?

    The words go...."Stand before a giant, with just a sling and a stone. Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors, shaking in their armor, wishing they'd of had the strength to stand. And the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me. Reminding me of all the times, I've tried before and failed...." And then the words go into The Voice of Truth, tells me a different story. The voice of the truth, says do not be afraid.

    Yea, that song.

    I love that song.

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  19. Love that analogy. Many lies we buy into, and scripture always opens our eyes. I will think of that everytime I see that movie, now.

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  20. What an awesome post. I know I listen to my flesh WAY too much. Time for some of that double-edged sword. :-)

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  21. Jennifer, Oh, I like books like that. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Joanne, My heart has led me to some wonderful places. I'll say nothing about those other spots. Ohp, just did.

    Jody, I truly mean that I'm appreciating learning about your journey. Your humility is such a cool character strength.

    Sarah, That would be the exact word I'd use for that scene--powerful. Thanks for the congrats.

    Sara, I love being able to relate with people. It helps me feel more alive. Thanks for your comment.

    Terri, My Bible and trusted friends. I thank God for those.

    Tamika, I always wonder what it is that keeps me away after I dig into it and get such restoration.

    Jill, That's the worst part of it, I think. He became numb, indifferent to an uprising all around him. He didn't care. What a tragedy.

    A.L., Yet! Love that. You are working toward it, keeping God-focused and are open to learning. Sounds like you are in an optimal position to strengthen.

    Nisa, It thrills me when this happens with a movie or a song. I connect with the lyricist or director. I see beneath the surface. Thrilling.

    Susan, Discerning the difference. Gold.

    T.Anne, Another great recommendation. I appreciate these. I will look into it.

    Elana, Thanks, woman. I'm still blown away by your comments & followers!

    Kristen, Thanks. It's one of my favs.

    Tricia, This is one of the reason I enjoy blogging so much. Connections like this.

    Sarah, I wish it were more of a poof...it's a sifting for me...a pure all out take that baby captive kind of knock down drag out sometimes.

    Warren, Thanks. Taking away so much from your book. I'm looking forward to writing the review soon.

    Katie, I'm more of a Strider/Aragorn gal. ;) I should write a post in Elvish. I love that you are teaching it to your son. It's really easy to learn. (Did I just freak you out?) I had fun. I, of course share that in common w/ you too...that song carried me through another rough patch. You rock.

    Karen, It makes me want to go watch it to make sure I really did describe it accurately. Like, is his hair really auburn or blond? :D

    G&P, Thanks. I resisted the word sweet. God still has a lot of work to do yet.

    Folks, I'm glad you visited today. I am craving chocolate big time. Think I'm going go splurge.

    It is my prayer you fall asleep tonight listening to God whispering how much He loves you.

    I pray the same for myself.
    ~ Wendy

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  22. Jessica, I haven't hopped off yet. I thought you wrote double fudge something. :D Kidding. Chocolate on the brain. Slice it, girl!
    ~ Wendy

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  23. Wendy, those lies are so powerful. But, ah, we know one more powerful. Stronger and more faithful. I'm so glad He's guiding you even when times are tough. My prayers are with you, girl!

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  24. I know this sounds bad, but I listened to my parents through adolescence, and then met the best friend I've ever had in my life. After meeting her, I realized I'd been listening to the wrong people, the wrong ideas. I'm not saying that my parents are non-Christians. I, honestly, don't know where their hearts are with God. But I know I struggled constantly through middle school and high school with my faith, and it wasn't until this glorious friend came along that I was righted and smoothed like a once crinkled, clean sheet. A lot of times, I listen to the voices spatting back and forth in my head and know they are Satan, yet find it difficult to let go of the fears he infests me with. That's when I have to jerk out my Bible and readreadread. Reading scripture just has a way of making me feel cleansed and rejuvenated.

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  25. Oh my! Have we been living the same scene or what? I can totally relate only I didn't put it in such eloquent terms. That is one of my favorite movies and that scene always moves me to tears. I think the thrashing on my part however has been resistance. Thought provoking. Thank you!

    Jen

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  26. At the moment, I'm listening to the pitched battle in my head. Get Things Done vs. Go To Sleep. (Yes, I personify plans. Then my pro-con lists make themselves. :D )

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