Teamwork: The beautiful friendship of Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee

“Come, Mr. Frodo!” he cried. “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”

Besides the stories of Stand By Me and Good Will Hunting, Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite stories which tells of the glorious struggles, loyalty, and love friends have towards each other.

What a remarkable story of men so dedicated to the defeat of Evil and so loyal to their friends they will risk their life, deny their desires of power, step up to responsibility, and fulfill their individual and communal purposes for a greater purpose.

And the life-long, intimate, strong, eternal friendship of Frodo and Sam is one of the best ever told.

Frodo who is a small hobbit who decided to take on the enormous burden of taking the Ring of Power to be destroyed in Mordor is accompanied by his gardener Samwise Gamgee. This moment in time is the start of one of the greatest friendships in history. Samwise makes a promise to Gandalf that he will never leave Frodo’s side and is so dedicated to Frodo even Sauron can’t separate them.

As the story unfolds, we see them struggle with loneliness, darkness, and depression as they take a 6-month journey to destroy the ring. Throughout this journey, we see them cry with each other, risk their lives for each other, resist the power of the ring, fight for their friendship when someone they only know for a month (Gollum) comes in and causes strife between them. We see this beautiful friendship of two small hobbits survive the deepest of evils and it is this friendship that destroys the power of Mordor.

The heavy burden of the great, strong, beautiful, evil power of the Ring laid on the chest of Frodo and the heavy burden of great, strong, courageous, good friendship laid on the heart of Samwise Gamgee.

At a low point in Frodo’s personal journey, a great discussion takes place between the two in The Two Towers.

Frodo: “I can’t do this Sam.”

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights, we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out of the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: “What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo…and it’s worth fighting for.”

Frodo and Sam are relatable to everyone's life.

Especially Christians that struggle with Homosexuality.

Frodo is like a Christian who struggles with homosexuality. The Ring of Power which is evil is like the very complex sin of wanting to have sex with the same sex.  Wanting a sexual relatonship inside the beauty and holiness of friendship. The Ring of Power is like sin. But the Ring of power is not the identity of Frodo, struggling with Homosexuality is not our identity either.

But the Ring of Power is a burden on middle Earth, especially for Frodo, our sins are also a burden.

Frodo needed a loyal, life-long, sacrificial, stubborn, fighter by his side to carry this burden to its end. And for those of us that struggle with homosexuality, we need a loyal, life-long, sacrificial, stubborn, fighter too! We need someone who is willing to dedicate their time, their life, their hearts to the bigger purpose of the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work as he is making us more like Christ.

And the Church and Christians can do that!

If you decide to walk alongside a Christian who struggles with homosexuality....

You will find yourself in darkness like Samwise did.

You will find yourself crying as Samwise did

You will find yourself sacrificing your time as Samwise did (Sam dedicated 6 months and beyond to Mr. Frodo).

You will find yourself walking in loneliness as Samwise did.

You will find yourself having to bring hope and courage to this friendship as Samwise did.

And when all hope is gone in someone who is struggling with this sin (which can happen a lot) you will find yourself saying to your fellow brother who struggles with homosexuality…

“Come on” he cried. “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”

And to Christians who relate with Frodo, remember the wounds of this journey are deep. So deep that when life is good and the darkness has passed, you will still feel the memory of the wounds. But just as Frodo went through the worse of the worse and even gave in at times to the power of the Ring, at the end of the story he was privileged to travel to the eternal place of the elves for carrying such a burden in his life.

We struggle because we know it is good on this side of the Kingdom of Christ.

Our struggle with Homosexuality will one day pass. It is just one of our many stories.

The difference between our story and Lord of the Rings is that eternity has already come to us. Our wounds are like the wounds of Christ our King who reigns now.

And our story ends and begins with this statement,

“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with this burden, now I will bless you. Come and share your master’s happiness!”