The land of the Geats was peaceful, ruled and guarded by king Beowulf, now an old man. All was well, until a lowly thief, a man of weak constitution, stole from the treasure collection of a dragon. That old hoard guard was awakened to human footsteps, and accounted among his vast wealth that one piece small piece was missing. Enraged, that winged demon began to terrorize the Geats, relentless in his fury, killing them one by one and burning their homes, their crops, and their livestock. Darkness fell upon the Geats, and terror gripped their hearts.
Beowulf, the lord protector, summoned his men to face the dragon. While Beowulf heroically braved the heat of its breath and the fury of its merciless countenance, he turned for help and realized that his conrades had abandoned him. The great king, who in his youth was a sea-rider, a mighty warrior who delivered the Danes from the demonic acts of Grendel and Grendel’s mother, who had faced death incalculable times since then, was, for once, doubtful of his abilities. His sword felt heavy, and clashed against the tough scales of the dragon without cutting or penetrating. His armor, the chain mail which had always faithfully protected him from sword and spear, tooth and arm, was hot with the dragon’s breath. His shield was a burden to him. Death, like the mist of the meadow, began to surround him, as the demon continued its furious circumambulations of Beowulf. So death visits every man.
Beowulf, with all his skill and strength, pierces the head of the dragon with his sword, but not before recieving a fatal bite in his neck from the demon. Lethal blows were traded, one life was quenched with another. Beowulf, the mighty legend, undefeated in battle, dies, trading his life for the life of his people as a man ought to.
With the crisis averted, what remains is not a celebration of victory over evil, but a somber funeral pyre. No feasting, no relief, no celebration; the death of Beowulf removed one nightmare, but opened the door to countless. The easiest way to understand the depth of a crisis is to look at how it affects the women of a society. Of the Geat women, it is written,
A Geat woman too sang out in grief: With hair bound up, she unburdened herself of her worst fears, a wild litany of nightmare and lament: her nation invaded, enemies on the rampage, bodies in piles, slavery and abasement. Heaven swallowed the smoke.
Prosperity, safety, and peace are only possible under the strength of men. Chaos fills a vacuum of virtue, diligence, and courage. The safety of a household is the strength of its father. So too, the strength of a church is the strength of its fathers; its pastors. So too again, the strength of a nation is the strength of its fathers; the civil magisterium, in whatever form it takes. The strength of men is a blessing to their people. Weak men, physically, mentally, or spiritually, are a curse to everyone around them. When weak men do not aspire to strength, let alone attain it, ruin follows.
Heed the wail of the Geat woman. Her whole world, like the world of your wife, your children, and the world of all the other people whom God has entrusted to you, hinges upon your strength as a provider, protector, and president. Consider, man: America is more vulnerable than ever, and Beowulf is dead. Will you rise to the occaision, and become the man you were made to be? Weakness is easy: it is the fruit of complacency and expedient pleasure, but it trades such shallow pleasures for nightmares beyond your comprehension. Heed the wail of the Geat woman: if you don’t, it will cost you the slavery, invasion, slaughter, and abasement of your people.
Act like a man, and be strong. Build yourself, and build your house. You owe it to your people.