May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out. J.R.R. Tolkien. The Fellowship of the Ring
I love this Tolkien quote. It seems quite appropriate for the dark times in which we live. There is a lot of Christian allegory in Tolkien’s LOTR, I think, and this quote seems especially appropriate because I believe there is a lot of darkness in Christianity today, including among evangelical Christians. Last week’s events demonstrate that pretty clearly given the way in which so many of the pro-current administration mob and those at the rally that led to the storming of the capitol claim to be Christian. One of the speakers at the rally is a longstanding family friend who, in my opinion, has clearly lost their way.
Another light-related quote that is a favorite of mine:
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.John 1:5 (KJV)
Personally, there has been a lot of darkness in my own life of late, too. Relationally, my family and I continue to struggle, and it gets all of us down. At times, I feel hopelessness and despair. Not good things at all. Many days I struggle (physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally) with deep-rooted problems.
Ultimately, I believe Jesus is the Light and the Way. My salvation and hope are in him, not in my circumstances. This is easy to write but not so easy to live. Another scripture quote came to me in writing this post:
But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.Malachi 4:2 (NLT)
That’s an amazing word picture, isn’t it? Just contemplate it for a bit.
We live in a time of darkness and chaos, where institutions and principles and truths seem continually challenged and under assault. And where true courage and principled leadership are hard to find. Recently, I finished re-watching the LOTR movies with my youngest child. I’m not as fond of the Hobbit trilogy but we have advanced to re-watching them next. I can’t help but see many spiritual truths and lessons in them. I also simply enjoy the scenery of the land to where I’d love to run away with my family if given the chance: New Zealand. Some of it, especially the background in the scenes of Rohan, are familiar to me, having been there years ago.
Where I live, the days are pretty cold and frequently dreary. However, I am thankful to notice the fact that the days are already beginning to lengthen once again. I love the light. I don’t mind the cold or snow but I do get down when there isn’t much light. Next to the chair where I usually sit, we recently placed an electric wood stove. I enjoy the warmth and light it provides on cold winter mornings, and so thought it appropriate to include here as the featured image. I took the photo very early this morning, while wrapped in a blanket and drinking a cup of coffee.