Prayer for the Day - Friday 22 September Pádraig ÓTuama with Pádraig ÓTuama
Today, according to the American Tolkien society, is Hobbit day.
Hobbits are beings from the imagination of JRR Tolkien, beings who are small, who live in Middle Earth and who, unbeknownst to themselves, are among the bravest, most generous and most courageous people of their Age.
In the Lord of the Rings it’s Frodo the Hobbit who goes into the face of a fire to destroy evil. It is his faithful companion Samwise Gamgee who supports him the whole way, at times, like Simon of Cyrene, carrying Frodo when Frodo is unable to walk under the burden.
It is Hobbits who, in the midst of turmoil and trouble, find some leaf, fill a long-stemmed pipe and light up, in order to have some semblance of ordinariness while the world is falling around them.
And, of course, Hobbits aren’t the only people who came from the imagination of Tolkien. Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Ents.
The world of Tolkien’s imagination, while it doesn’t exist, nonetheless speaks volumes about virtue to the world that does exist.
When a friend of mine died tragically, I found myself turning to Tolkien for solace. Tolkien’s capacity for imagination shows how vital imagination is to our world.
To imagine is not to be removed from the world, but is to be fully embedded in the world. Tolkien borrowed imaginings from many cultures and peoples, and turned them into something that will last centuries.
God of the imagination,
You imagined a world into being
and imaged humanity in your likeness:
Let us imagine our world
into a better kind of place