Frodo and Sam have made it through a lot together. Their friendship is unbreakable, but Frodo has to leave. Though they are separated their friendship lives on. This is similar to a story in the bible.
There was a prophet, his name was Elijah. He was famous in all Israel and Judah because no matter how hard life got he still carried on preaching the word of the Lord. He wanted the sinners of Israel and Judah to repent of their sins and turn back to God. In the end the kings threatened to kill Elijah so he ran into the mountains. That wasn’t what God wanted so He sent Elijah back to find someone called Elisha, son of Shaphat.
Elisha was a worker on his fathers farm. When Elijah came to him he was ploughing the fields with oxen. Elijah came to him and asked Elisha to come with him. Elisha said “I will come but first let me say goodbye to my mother and father.” After saying goodbye to them he turned and followed Elijah.
Elisha was just a down to earth human who had enough faith in God to follow Elijah wherever he went. He was the least person you would expect to become a prophet. Sam is a very down to earth hobbit. He is a gardener, Elisha is a farmer. Elijah became Elisha’s `Master’ just like Frodo is Sam’s `Master’.
Both Elijah and Elisha know that they will be parted. At every place they go to (on the way to the river Jodan) Elijah says to Elisha “Stay here.” But every time Elijah says this Elisha replies “As the Lord lives and as you live I won’t leave you.” And at every place thay go to the prophets of that place say to Elisha, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?” and Elisha would answer “Yes, I know, but don’t talk about it.”
Elisha tried to push the painful thought of his `master’ leaving him to one side. In the depths of his heart Sam must have known that Frodo was leaving. He didn’t want to accept it or talk about it though, just like Elisha.
Elisha is upset that Elijah is leaving. When Elijah asks Elisha what he would like as a parting gift Elisha says that he would like a double share of Elijah’s spirit. Elijah promises that if Elisha sees him go up to heaven he will receive the gift.
In a way, the gift of Elijah’s spirit is like the red book that Frodo gives Sam. In that book the spirits of Frodo and Bilbo would survive. Sam and Elisha were both upset that their `masters’ (closest friends) had left but both of them knew that their place was where they were. And they both knew that they would eventually follow in the footsteps of their `masters’. Elisha would eventually go up to heaven and Sam would depart across the sea to Valinor, the land of the elves and the Valar.
Sometimes it is hard to say goodbye. God has a plan for each of us and it will involve leaving people behind, but we must trust God and take the path which He has so carefully planned for us.
I remember the moment with total clarity, when one of my great loves began.