The Battle of Kings

One of the most memorable parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy occurs almost at the very end of the last film, “Return of the King.” In the climactic battle, King Theoden is riding in one final charge at the enemy. The charge is interrupted by the Witchking’s Nazgul. The Nazgul picks up Theoden’s horse, with him still seated on it, and throws them both across the field. The momentum of their roll causes the dead horse to roll on top of King Theoden, crushing him.

When his horror-struck daughter Eowyn comes to his side, his final words to her are, “I go to my father’s, in whose mighty company I shall not now feel ashamed.”

Those words connected to me like a punch.

It connected to all the feelings of male inadequacy I feel, all the feelings of my father’s inadequacies, and all the longings I had to fight a battle like that, a tough and ferocious battle for something worthy of the fight. That feeling is common among men, something primal and basic that is our genetic birthright, lost amidst the emasculating and feminizing influences in our society. Being gay never helped the matter; on the contrary being gay always felt like a compromise between being a man and being a boy obsessed only with his own needs and wants. There would be times during sex where there was a definite feeling of power, of control, of a taking of sorts. But there is a vast and wide difference between being a male and being a man. Being male is just a function of biology; being a man is about the battles he chooses, the prizes he fights for, and those he fights for along the way.

One of the most healing influences in my life was God’s revelation during that moment on the screen, the realization that this battle, this fight to live as the man I choose to be rather than capitulating to my sinful nature, is no lesser or noble a battle than the others that captivated my boyish attention. If that battle gets to the point where there is a systemized attempt to help other men through this realization, well, then that’s great. But if all I can manage in the fight to is find my sense of wholeness and masculinity, relying on God to point the way, staying true and faithful to him and open to the lessons he has for me, then on the day that alone may be all the help I can give to another man. To point the way, to live in such a way as to show others the joy and delight in the struggle, and to serve the father as a faithful, shriven knight in battle; do this and on that glorious day I am crushed in battle for the King, Theoden’s words will be mine as well.


~ by WriterRand on May 3, 2008.

One Response to “The Battle of Kings”

  1. You have displayed much masculine courage in the battle you fight against your disability. I think anyone who sees how you will NOT let that defeat you would have to say that you are a real man fighting for a good cause in a very real battle. I also respect you for your battle against SSA. Again, you don’t give up, you keep moving forward, and behind it all is God working in you!

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