Why samgamgee? its really a long story…but worth an attempt. i came to saving faith during my sophomore year in high school. one of my spiritual mentor’s (his name also was Tom) introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkein.
I had literally a fellowship of spiritual brothers and sisters at the time and we all were given names from this incredible author’s amazing tale: The Lord of the Rings. The name given to me: Samwise Gamgee. I even had it imprinted on my high school year book. I sort of left it along side the “road” of life so to speak until January 2005 when my bride Melinda made it possible to attend a Wild at Heart Bootcamp in the Rockie mountains north of Denver. During one of the sessions led by John Eldredge he mapped out in the most clear way something that i hadn’t really been fully aware of…that my ultimate identity as a man is as a son of God. During a long afternoon alone at the Crooked Creek Ranch I heard so clearly that God saw me as having the same characteristics as Samwise. John talks about how once we embrace all that the full work of Christ has accomplished, we begin to believe and experience a new identity–a new name….a reorientation of who we truly are and our place in God’s Larger Story. It was about that time that i started to blog and samgamgee.org was born.
Tolkein says this about the character of Sam written in a private letter:
“My Sam Gamgee is indeed a reflection of the English soldier, of the privates and batmen I knew in the 1914 war, and recognized as so far superior to myself” (J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography page 89, Chapter VIII. Humphrey Carpenter).