Thursday, October 19, 2023

Gathering darkness

Russell Moore recently attended a gathering where a letter from C.S. Lewis to J.R.R. Tolkien was quoted. The Lewis quotation, then Moore:
“All my philosophy of history hangs upon a sentence of your own.”

If I’ve ever read that letter, I’ve forgotten it. And I think I had forgotten the sentence in question too. I immediately went to my well-worn copy of The Fellowship of the Ring to find it.

In it, Gandalf says to Frodo, “That is a chapter of ancient history which it might be good to recall; for there was sorrow then too, and gathering dark, but great valor, and great deeds that were not wholly vain.”

“Great deeds that were not wholly vain.” Gandalf was right (on this and most other things). Yes, this is a time of darkness. Yes, there is sorrow all around us. But there’s valor too. And there are deeds done—small, almost always unnoticed—that will turn out to be not wholly in vain.

So don’t be afraid. And don’t give up. ....

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