Choosing Freedom: Eowyn’s Greatness
“What do you fear, lady?” he asked.
“A cage,” she said. “To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them, and all the chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”
– Aragorn and Eowyn, The Return of the King, Book 5, Chapter 2 –
What is it you fear most? What are you afraid of?
For me, it can be summed up in a single word: failure. This demon has a way of creeping up on me in my sleep. It also has a way of nagging at me, gnawing away at the smallest as well as the most significant blessings in my life.
How about you? Are you familiar with that gnawing and undeniable sinking feeling?
16th century Protestant leader John Calvin claims that most people fear three things. Those three things are:
What is it about this particular trio that is so frightening? If we really think about it, each of these involve the loss of freedom on some level. Then maybe it is all a matter of perspective. For when we choose the paths of poverty, obscurity, or humility out of obedience it can seem like the door to freedom has been thrown wide open.
Not sure about that? Neither am I, then perhaps I have yet to learn Eowyn’s valuable lesson.
Eowyn, Daughter of Kings
Eowyn was born the daughter of kings. She was a born leader. Most importantly she was born into greatness. So it should come as no surprise that she would believe herself to be so. Nor should it shock us if she would not settle for less than greatness.
Born the daughter of Éomund and Theodwyn, she was the neice of king Theoden of Rohan. She was the youngest of two children as well as the only daughter, which made her second in the line of succession as male heirs typically were the ones who inherited.
Eowyn is a character from Tolkien’s works who always dreams of as well as aspires to greatness. We see this in her affections and unrequited love towards Aragorn.
And again she looked at Faramir. “No longer do I desire to be a queen,” she said.
-Eowyn to Faramir, The Return of the King, Book 5-
“That I know,” he said. “You desired to have the love of the Lord Aragorn. Because he was high and puissant, and you wished to have renown and glory and to be lifted far above the mean things that crawl on the earth. And as a great captain may to a young soldier he seemed to you admirable. For so he is, a lord among men, the greatest that now is. But when he gave you only understanding and pity, then you desired to have nothing, unless a brave death in battle. Look at me, Eowyn!”
-Faramir to Eowyn, The Return of the King, Book 5-
She longed for greatness so much and sought to have it, that when she did not get it in the manner she wanted she desired nothing at all.Have you ever had that approach when things did not go your way?
Born For Greatness
Like Eowyn we tend to want greatness on our own terms. Instead of putting our faith in God and trusting in His plan, we tend to become restless. We often question our worth as well as purpose because we cannot see the whole picture.
We forget that…
Sometimes the little things are truly the big ones. The smallest gestures can be the difference between eternal glory and never ending torment.
When we let go and let God, we are truly free. It is then and only then too that we can do as God has called us to.
Like Eowyn, we will find our freedom. When she gave up her personal need for glory, grandeur, and greatness she discovered her true calling as a healer.
Bible On Freedom
Galatians 5:1 New International Version (NIV)
Freedom in Christ
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
John 8:32-36 New International Version (NIV)
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”