“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
– Gandalf, in The Hobbit by J R R Tolkein.
I switched on the TV and The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey is on. Too many fight scenes for me but I like parts of it and tonight the quotation above inspired me for this post…
It can feel like a dark night when we’re struggling with mental or physical pain, loss, distress, depression – and whatever more you are meeting with right now. When things happen to us or our loved ones that make us afraid. When we’re confused or discouraged and can’t find our path and hope seems far away. It has certainly felt dark for me in recent years and I fear dark inside myself most of all – losing the ability to hope, to love, to give, to rejoice, because the frightening memories and all-consuming emotions can obscure so much.
We don’t have to be strong all the time. We need not have great power. It is the “small everyday deeds” that make the difference in the dark night. Small actions of caring friends that show us they think there is good in me even when I don’t. Small memories, experiences or feelings I dare to share with others sometimes show me they are not disgusted or afraid of me as I fear. Small encouragements that might once have gone unnoticed now fill my heart up with thankfulness.
I am not great and I am one person like any other. I don’t know the way and my journey, especially over the last 5 years, has been very unexpected! I did not choose this path and yes, often I have become discouraged and wished it could be smoother. Yet, though this is not where I planned to be, perhaps this is where I am most needed. This is where God who brings good from everything, needs me to be; this is where He has sent me to serve and love and be moulded in His ways. I have no magic to overcome the painful parts of my experiences or the far greater hurt there is for so many people in the world. But I do have love. Small acts of “kindness and love” “keep the darkness at bay”. However small and weak we feel, who knows who we may actually be able to encourage or help through the little acts of our everyday work and tasks, often without knowing it. However much we struggle we can keep the night at bay in our hearts and in the world with these little actions.
For details and acknowledgements of this challenge created by Soul Seaker, please see here.
PS – I’m sorry for uploading late. I have been away for a couple of nights staying at my friend’s.