Sunday, July 1, 2012

Darkness and Light

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

Thanks to several carefully-placed blows of Smaug's tail, the dwarves can no longer use the secret door to exit the Lonely Mountain. To pass the time, they decide to accompany Bilbo on his next trip down the tunnel to the dragon's lair. Smaug is still not at home, so they decide to explore a bit, but not without sending the burglar out first, of course. Bilbo takes a torch with him, and the dwarves watch as the light becomes smaller and smaller, marking the hobbit's progress farther and farther into the vast hall. 

Suddenly a bat flies close to Bilbo's head, causing him to drop the torch. Alone in the darkness, Bilbo calls for help:

"'Thorin! Balin! Oin! Gloin! Fili! Kili!' he cried as loud as he could – it seemed a thin little noise in the wide blackness. 'The light's gone out! Someone come and find me and help me!' For the moment his courage had failed altogether."

Help arrives fairly quickly, of course. Once he sees the light of the dwarves' torches across the room, Bilbo's courage returns and he starts towards them, meeting them before they have come very far along the wall.

There are many situations that can cause us to feel that we are all alone, just a tiny speck in the vast darkness. Thank goodness for the light that takes away our fears and comforts us in the blackest of situations, and thank goodness for the friends who sometimes serve as the bringers of that light, reminding us that we are not alone after all.

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