Hobbits with swords.
That sounds like a brilliant idea. Put the destruction of the Ring of Power in the hands of three foot high, peace loving, mushroom eating farmers. They're extremely capable of stealing produce, but the chances of them staying alive against a Nazgul?
Highly unlikely, as they'd barely be able to reach his knee.
I’ve felt like a Hobbit quite a lot recently.
‘There is no way’, I think. Absolutely no way that I could go up against the evil and suffering and sorrow and tragedy in the world and come out triumphant. My strengths are about three feet high and my talents- I'm good at stealing produce and keeping my Hobbit-hole clean, but I've barely ever even held a sword, and the prospect of battle scares me back to my hole, my tea and my books and the refuge of the internet.
Sorry God. You'd better find an Aragorn, because I'm a Hobbit.
I'm not particularly strong, and my failings are much greater than my strengths. I love Jesus. But I still stumble, fumbling in the darkness as I fight loneliness and fear and my own unfaithfulness. More often then not, I don't come out very triumphant.
This week, we've heard about Warriors. We've heard about how the best stories may be yet to be written. We've heard about the God who wants us to imagine and create. We've heard about writing with honesty and writing for Truth.
I was struck over and over this week of how much I felt at home with all of you. You give me a glimpse of what Heaven will look like. Your love and care are a gift that comes from God through you and I can't imagine how much I would be different if it were not from you.
I would have loved to stay in Kansas forever with you. Telling stories, laughing, being together. Writing, learning, growing. Being safe.
But the sense I got at the worship and prayer service on Sunday morning was something quite different. It's easy to love the Workshop. It's easy to want to stay there, to dread going home and leaving all the people who have made your heart more alive. Now that we're home, it's easy to curl up and mourn the fact that we're apart again.
But we can't. OYAN is just the beginning. It's the launch pad to send us back into the world and to prepare us for loving Jesus in our individual lives. OYAN is the battle cry. It's the swords placed in our hands, the story written to enflame our hearts and call us anew. The Workshop was our Rivendell. We were healed. We made friends. We chose to take up our weapons and to live for Christ.
Now we go home to begin the real battle. I'll admit, my own battles scare me more than a little. My sword had gotten dull. I need Christ to be fuller in my life and my writing. But I'm His and you are His, and He moves mountains and changes hearts and creates things like OYAN.
So go home. You may be a hobbit, but the war's already won.
We're ordinary heroes belonging to Christ.
I pray that that's true for each of you for the rest of your lives.
Much love, Abby.