This is another timeless quote from Tolkien, spoken by Haldir the elf to the fellowship as the entered the valley of Lothlorien. Haldir was a marchwarden who guarded the forest’s northern borders. It was him and his brothers that intercepted Aragorn and the fellowship as they fled from Moria into the woods. The quote is a huge source of motivation for everyday living. It’s easy to find a practical application or reference point for the quote in your life today. Tolkien was spot-on with this quote and sometimes I wonder if he was not maybe some kind of spiritual being that through his work and literature fulfilled the purpose of being a guide to those who had no other source of light. A “prophet” or “teacher” to people perhaps?
We know the world is full of grief. We know there’s bad things happening and there’s bad people behind most of these. Sometimes things just end-up going completely different to what we expected. there’s hurt and pain and sadness among all these. Tolkien then goes further and gives us a glimpse of the other side of the coin; that there’s good as well. That which is fair remains and is there to be seen and experienced. All the grief in the world cannot make it disappear. It is because of the grief that the love is so much stronger. As they get mingled together in a world that is chaotic and crazy the love and fair things of the world grows among it so much stronger.
How amazing is this?
It’s an upside down/ backwards concept to understand. To see love growing amidst grief. And even stronger due to grief. I could not help but find many links between this quote and the words of Jesus. Jesus was famous for preaching the exact opposite to what we were used to. His concepts of being first, serving, humility and love were truly radical. Do we not learn from Jesus that where there is evil/sin/grief there is so much more love/grace. Where sin abounds grace abounds so much more? Jesus told us that there where you would least expect Him to be there He will be.
Tolkien gives us the same idea.
Haldir spoke very wise words to a fellowship that just lost Gandalf to the Balrog in Moria. The were shattered, hopeless and surely must have felt that the entire quest to destroy the one ring is lost. Galadriel didn’t really give them much comfort in saying this:
“The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the Company is true.”
Haldir’s words gives them…gives us all the hope and confidence that there is good still in this world. It is there to be seen if we care to look hard enough, especially in the midst of the chaos and pain and grief. You can choose today if you want to be a person that looks past the love and gets stuck in the grief and chaos of this world. Be it dire political, family or any relationship matter. Or you can choose to look right there…but look harder to find the love and in that place choose to give all your power, effort and energy to this love and let it grow not only there amid the grief but in you as well.
You can choose.