Water

Rohan was backed into a corner at Helm’s Deep.  The small band of humans and elves peered over the walls of the fortress at the mass of approaching hate.  Women and children were sent to the dungeon for protection. Boys were given swords too heavy for them to wield.   No amount of skill or weaponry could defeat what lay before them.  Hope seemed lost.

Saruman had been built an unbeatable army.  He had crossed orcs with goblins to create beings whose only purpose was to kill.  They wore armor that only protected the front, because they would never turn their backs in battle.  Perched in his tower of Isengard, Saruman surveyed the pit of destruction surrounding him.  The old world will burn in the fires of industry. Forests will fall. A new order will rise.

Yet in the darkest moment, a pinprick of light remained.  And from the unlikeliest source.  Hobbits.  Not the ones you’re thinking of.  Not the ones with the ring headed to Mount Doom.  The other two hobbits.

Pippin and Merry knew a war was coming and sought the help of the forest guardians, the Ents. After a contemplation that seemed unending, the council agrees and the Ents march to battle.

Ok, time out.  Ents are giant tree-like creatures.  Big trees going to battle with horrific mutations?  A few trees against an army of killers?    Organic against man-made?  Not possible.

Back at Helm’s Deep, the fortress has been compromised by Saruman’s devilry.  Lines of defense began breaking.  And then…Gandalf rides in with backup.  This attack from both sides sends Saruman’s killers running (ironic, since they aren’t created to flee).

Enter Ents.

They block the escape route.  They squash, pound, and kick seemingly tiny Uruk-hais to their death. It wasn’t easy, though.  Some Ents were lit on fire and some were overwhelmed by sheer numbers of the enemy.

Then, the turning point.  Something that would quickly annihilate most everything in its path.  Something that would simultaneously destroy and cleanse.  The dam breaks…

Literally, Ents broke open the dam.  Water flooded.  Fires were put out.  Machinery was destroyed.  The enemy was washed into the pit from which they’d been created.

Just like that.  Death, fire, and filth suddenly became a wading pool for Ents and the terrified hobbits clinging to Treebeard’s branches.

Saruman observed this flooding of Isengard grimly, knowing it to be the end.  The end of his power-hungry siege.  Everything he had worked for and created was gone.  What remained was a cool, glistening lake.

I love that image.

A person can survive for weeks without food, but only days without water.  It is piped in and out of our houses daily.  It makes up 75% of our body as well as our earth.  It can be the most refreshing sensation after a hot day.  Some Chinese drink hot water claiming it has healing properties.  We seek its existence on other planets to confirm life.

But this substance can also be deadly: floods, typhoons, and tsunamis.

A force for both good and evil.

Biblical creation story. Something I’ve been taught since I was young.  I’ve seen the pictures of each day’s newness and my perception has always been, God created a bunch of stuff, and then His most prized development – people!

Rereading this story revealed a new discovery:  Guess what’s covering the earth that first day?  You guessed it:  The Spirit of God hovered over the surface of earth’s waters.

Day 2 – separate waters of heaven with earth.  Day 3 – separate water from dry land.  Day 4 – creation of animals, those in the water listed first. Finally, God sent springs of water or a river from the earth to nourish plants.

Seems like water is a major creation character I had never noticed before!

Later in Genesis, the world was covered in evil people.  God’s heart was broken.  His strategy to deal with this?  Water.  A great flood, saving only one man, his family, and pairs of animals to repopulate the earth.

I’m not super literal when it comes to these two stories.  I don’t believe the earth was necessarily created in seven 24-hour days.  Perhaps the people on the ark were more than just Noah, his wife, and three sons and wives.  Perhaps the listing of his sons meant all of their tribe as well.

So, water may not be a literal representation.  Maybe before creation, there was just chaos.  Nothing had shape or made sense.  Water represents an ordering of chaos.

Keep reading, and you find God’s people escaping tyrannical rule through a miraculous walk through the parted Red Sea.

Finally, water became a representation of faith in Jesus.  Jesus died, was buried, and rose again.  Baptism by water usually consists of someone immersing themselves in water fully.  They lie back as someone who is dead.  Once they have fully immersed, they rise again out of the water.  They are wet from head to toe representing their sin being fully washed away and God’s grace covering them.

Regardless of literal or symbolic, water is an important image of creation, life, and destruction.  Could it be surmised that all things created have the power for good and evil?  Even the most necessary items for survival can be used for death.

One could draw many conclusions from this exploration:  Good will find a way to overcome evil.  Order emerges from chaos.  Through death, sometimes there is life.  Water is powerful.  🙂

I guess I’m content to continue delving into the mystery of creation.  Simple image, great depth.

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