Friday, June 21, 2013

Whitsunday in Fangorn

(Moved over belated from being posted on Facebook...)

I love it when independent cycles reinforce meaning for one another.
Yesterday’s Reading from The Lord of the Rings, beginning at the 5th chapter of the 3rd book, contained,
“It was not in vain that the young hobbits came with us, if only for Boromir’s sake. But that is not the only part they have to play. They were brought to Fangorn, and their coming was like the falling of small stones that starts an avalanche in the mountains... A thing is about to happen which has not happened since the Elder Days: the Ents are going to wake up and find that they are strong.”

How relevant to Whitsunday! I have been speculating as to the “meaning” of Hobbits, though I don't mean to imply anything so overt as allegory, which Tolkien detested. But in many ways they do seem to be in a sense the operation of the Holy Ghost in the story. They seem to exemplify the Third Theme of Illuvatar, which “seemed at first soft and sweet, a mere rippling of gentle sounds in delicate melodies; but it could not be quenched, and it took to itself power and profundity... It was deep and wide and beautiful, but slow and blended with an immeasurable sorrow, from which its beauty chiefly came... And [Melkor’s theme] essayed to drown the other music by the violence of its voice, but it seemed that its most triumphant notes were taken by the other and woven into its own solemn pattern.”
The loud brash note of the capture of Merry and Pippin in fact only bore them to Fangorn where they tipped the scales of motivating the Ents. “The Ents are going to wake up, and find that they are strong.” - and today we invoke the “Comfortor” - which word in its oldest sense means “strengthener.”
That first Whitsun was a turning of the tide for the disciples, when they woke up, and found that they were strong - and the good news went out then to spread over the entire world.
This Whitsuntide, may we also allow ourselves to be comforted - to find out we are strong, and through off the tide of evil that may be attempting to assail us and ours. Whatever that evil may yet attempt, may it find that “this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which [it] hath not imagined.”

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