Tonight Haus Meister and I had our date to see the Hobbit. Honestly I was rather expecting to be disappointed after reviews. It seemed the highlight was going to be Bag End and the dwarf chant, and the rest a waste of my time and money.
What happened? I loved it almost if not as much as the Fellowship, which is the only movie of the trilogy I’ve seen more than four times in the last 11 years. I kept wondering what everyone’s problem was–yes, some of the dwarves were crude at times, yes, some of the effects were a little CGI, but not any more so than what we saw in the previous trilogy. And (squeal) did anyone else notice that the company were left by the eagles on the Carrock??? (Carrock = big rock shaped like a bear in the film. Clue to a pretty neat character we will soon meet. This Tolkien geek was jumping in her seat at all the appendices references, too).
The “pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand” sequence–perfect. Spot on.
What surprised me most was that in all the reviews–even the Catholic one–no one has mentioned Gandalf’s crucial line to Galadriel. Perhaps I was listening more because I was on the watch for my “Trooper quote,” but in light of current events, especially the horrible tragedy in Connecticut, how apt that quote appeared.
Gandalf says roughly this, and forgive me for inaccuracy, as I have only seen the movie once:
“It is not in power that evil will be driven from the world, but in the everyday actions of ordinary folk. In acts of love, of goodness. That is what will drive evil away.”
It is not in stricter gun laws that we can prevent such homicides. What if he had used a knife instead, the perpetrator of the tragedy? It was not the weapon that he used so much as the disposition to the evil that he must have harbored. That is the greater danger. Yes, gun safety should be taught and practiced, but if we want to eradicate evil it must begin and be done by each of us in our homes. In the kinds of things we allow ourselves to practice, to watch, to read, to listen. The kind of things we allow our children to see and do. We must not be afraid to bring goodness to others, to reach out to the loners. We must not be afraid to perform “random acts of kindness.”
I was saddened to read that some people in the CT town were in effect canceling their Christmas to show support for the mourners. In a way, canceling the superficial, the rabid consumerism is not a bad idea. But don’t cancel Christmas altogether. Instead find hope in the fact that Christmas remembers the pivotal moment of our history.
The moment when the only real Power that can eradicate evil, the One for whom we act however unconsciously when we do good in this world, in the supreme act of love and goodness took on our human nature to redeem us from our sins.
To the crib at Bethlehem we bring our prayers at this time for those suffering still from the tragedy, and from any tragedy little or great. May we find courage in this new Year to do more in our everyday ordinary lives to bring a little more of His goodness into the world.