Sam Wakes Up in Bed at The Field of Cormallen

The joy that lies ahead . . .

Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings

I have many favourite moments in The Lord of the Rings and two of the very best are when Frodo wakes up in bed in Rivendell after the flight to the Fords of Bruinen and this scene at The Field of Cormallen.

“When Sam awoke, he found that he was lying on some soft bed, but over him gently swayed wide beechen boughs, and through their young leaves sunlight glimmered, green and gold. All the air was full of a sweet mingled scent.”

Tolkien mixes some beautiful images, springtime after winter, light after darkness, rich verdant plenty after a wasteland and my own particular favourite, waking up in a comfortable bed after a hard journey.

As a young man I spent six years as a teacher in a secondary school (high school) in Africa. I loved to travel and soon learned that every journey was in itself an adventure to…

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“I trust you not to misunderstand Me”

Witnesses to Hope

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything from my old friend, Amy Carmichael.  I hope you find encouragement here:

Ps 37.31 None of his steps shall slide.

Ps 18.36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my ankles did not slip.

Luke 21.16-18  You shall be betrayed . . . and some of you shall they cause to be put to death . . . . But there shall not a hair of your head perish.

These words of our God are most gloriously trustful.  Our Lord was speaking to some who were to die by martyrdom and He said in effect: “I trust you not to misunderstand when your ankles do slip and every hair of your head does perish.  I trust you never to be offended in Me.”

There is a delightful “though” in Psalm 37.24 which goes to the core of the matter.  Though…

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Lead, kindly light

A Sunday poem worth repeating.

Witnesses to Hope

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,–
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene,–one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on:
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish days, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long thy power hath blessed me, sure it still
Will lead me on;
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

John Henry Newman
Here is a lovely adaptation by Audrey Assad:

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Beauty and hope

Wonder and Beauty

How Beauty instills the virtue of Hope

This is a guest post by Timothy Chapman. Timothy grew up in southern Illinois. He has degrees in English, history, and divinity and is currently a youth minister in St. Louis, MO. A version of this essay was first published at the website Here Is a Place.

My days, like many of yours, I bet, are usually spent in the busyness at hand, of to-do lists and iCal checks, of tickets to pay and shirts to drop off at the cleaners, of downloading apps to help with efficiency and drowning out spare silences by checking emails and playing three minutes and twenty-seven seconds of a podcast. Stoplights are often the biggest pause in the oppressive constancy of hours packed to the brim.

But I am a napper. I would take a 22 minute nap everyday if I could–and I…

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A grant of grace

Witnesses to Hope

A Sunday-poem by Jessica Powers:

Suffering

All the day long I spent the hours with suffering.
I woke to find her sitting by my bed.
She stalked my footsteps while time slowed to timeless,
tortured my sight, came close in what was said.

She asked no more than that, beneath unwelcome,
I might be mindful of her grant of grace.
I still can smile, amused, when I remember
how I surprised her when I kissed her face.

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