‘I think it is a sad story.’ Said the wizard, ‘and it might have happened to others, even to some hobbits that I have known.’
‘I can’t believe that Gollum was connected with hobbits, however distantly,’ said Frodo with some heat. ‘What an abominable notion!’
…. “Do you mean to say that you, and the elves have let him live on after all those horrible deeds? Now at any rate he is as bad as an Orc, and just an enemy. He deserves death.”
“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it. And he is bound to the fate of the ring. My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before the end; and when that comes, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many- yours not least.”
I was thinking about how quick I am to judge people, especially people who are different, or perhaps more frighteningly, people like me. I am quick to judge, and throw down a verdict of guilty, while not seeing that we are connected. Gollum came from a people just like the Hobbits, but some bad decisions led him down a dark road. In the same way that the Stripper, drug dealer, ultra right wing conservative Christian, Saddam Hussein, and me, are all cut of the same cloth, designed and created in the image of God. Some of us have chosen paths that lead us to become stretched and thin, but there still resides within, the goodness of Christ. I’m not much of a new years resolution guy (why decide something that you won’t keep anyway) But this year I want to see people the way Gandalf does… the way Christ does. To see the goodness in people, to hope for the best, to hope that they can be changed. After all, in the end wouldn’t our fates be entwined with theirs?
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." -Matthew 25:31-40