Finding God at the Quick Stop
The intersection of Faith, Tolkien, and the View Askewniverse
Is it possible to find an intersection between Tolkien, Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse, and God? I believe it is because I recently did that very thing during a panel discussion of myth and spirituality in Tolkien. You can hear that discussion on the Parson Brown Podcast here: Podcast with Nick Polk
Kevin Smith’s film, Clerks III, contains a scene between Dante and his deceased partner Becky, who we learn was tragically killed by a drunk driver shortly after the events in the film Clerks II. Dante has been mourning Becky and his unborn child for many years and suffering because of that his grief. Dante visits Beck’s grave and has a vision in which she tells him he needs to remember that he is still living. She tells him that her story is finished, but that his story is still being written. Dante still can turn the page of his story and add more chapters. The scene brought to mind the scene at the end of Tolkien’s The Two Towers in which Sama and Frodo talks about the great tales and how we often find oursleves a part of a long running tale connecting us to those tales of valor and beauty.
Like Dante, the two Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings were still writing their story and had so much more to tell and live. They did not know what the end of their tale would be, but they knew they were following a path that would make a difference and impact them for the rest of that tale. We may not understand how long our story will last, nor if we have several chapters or are nearing the end of our story. But as we live our stories, we can be a light in the darkness by reflecting the beauty of a God who hears, sees, knows, and is with creation. We can invite others into that same tale and become part of the long story of God and the people of God, reaching back to a history of tradition and faithfulness and forward into an unknown future where our faith carries us.
Dante realizes the truth of Becky’s truth of additional chapters and it affects how he lives out the rest of his story. I hope that we can do the same and lean into a beautiful telling of stories that invite us and others into the beauty that can be the story of God.