“Take this ring, master,” he said, “for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill.” — Cirdan the Shipwright | JRR Tolkien | The Silmarillion |
Rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill. I use this hashtag shamelessly on quite a few of my Instagram posts probably to the confusion, delight, disgust, indifference, and fascination of those who follow me. Some understand what it means full well. Others think it’s a trendy saying that sounds cute and gives them warm fuzzies. Yet others perhaps think I’m trying to be clever and failing miserably. And some probably just don’t even bother with the thing at all. Whatever the reactions my self-created hashtag may elicit, I’m going to keep using it and here’s why:
Hearts stand in desperate need of rekindling because this world has grown and is growing quite chill indeed.
First off, a bit of context surrounding the quotation. I warned, in my About tab, that this blog will be peppered with Lord of the Rings references and posts because it’s pretty much my favourite thing ever (next to living for the Most High, writing novels, hanging with kindred spirits, eating brownies, etc etc etc etc). Cirdan the Shipwright gifted Gandalf the Grey with a Ring. A Ring called Narya aka the Ring of Fire. The gift was in order because Gandalf had taken a pretty onerous and dangerous task upon himself and he needed the encouragement and protection. Loads of lessons right there but I’ll restrain myself.
With the context out of the way, let’s get to the rekindling itself. Fanning something into a flame. Bringing something back to life. Reigniting a passion that once burned brightly but has since sputtered out. That’s rekindling and our world stands in great need of it.
Rekindling hearts means smiling at that person in the grocery store. Sending that Happy Birthday text to a friend. Posting that bit of encouragement on Instagram and meaning it. Biting your tongue instead of lashing out when you’re wronged. Going the extra mile and turning the other cheek. Refusing to gossip about someone who probably isn’t a gem but is an image-bearer of the Most High God Himself. Stepping outside of yourself and into another’s shoes. Shouldering the burdens of a friend. Pushing others to be everything the Creator King made them to be no matter how hard they resist you and the Truth. And so much more.
Rekindling hearts means living your life in a way that reflects your God and brings glory to His awesome Name. Because it’s always about Him, it’s always been about Him, and it always will be about Him and if you’ve missed that, you’ve missed everything.
The world is chill, my friends, it’s freezing in the darkness of sin and the Curse but there’s Hope. We have a grand calling, a Divine Mandate, a rousing call to action. People are withering away in the dark cold but we are the Lantern Bearers. It’s our duty to bring the Light of Jesus Christ the Saviour and carry it forward into the darkness and the wind, shedding what warmth and cheer we can. We probably won’t be remembered. We won’t have our names etched in stone for posterity to admire but that’s not the point. Those who rekindle hearts are seldom remembered because the world has its greedy eyes elsewhere; on the people who pushed their way into the spotlight and made millions chant their names to the heavens like some sort of wild incantation. They rekindled hearts, yes, but not in a way that mattered at the end of time. That’s not us and we shouldn’t want it.
All around us, the world sinks beneath the cold and people are using the wrong fires to bring heat. We’ve got to live with our eyes wide open so we can see the ways to rekindle hearts because often they’re subtle and easily missed if we’re not paying attention. So rekindle hearts even if they call you a fool or a fanatic. Rekindle hearts even if no one remembers your name or sings your praises. Rekindle hearts even if they want nothing to do with you. Rekindle hearts because the Most High has commanded it.
That’s what I mean by my ubiquitous hashtag. It’s a rally cry to engage in a cause greater than ourselves. To push back the Night and save people from the cold.
Excerpt from The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff
“I sometimes think we stand at sunset. It may be that the night will close over us in the end, but I believe that morning will come again. Morning always grows again out of the darkness, though maybe not for the people who saw the sun go down. We are the Lantern Bearers, my friend; for us to keep something burning, to carry what light we can forward into the darkness and the wind.” | Eugenus
“I wonder if they will remember us at all, those people on the other side of the darkness.” | Aquila
“You and I and all our kind they will forget utterly, though they live and die in our debt.” | Eugenus
Gandalf the Grey | A Lantern Bearer
(Please do yourself a favour and read The Lord of the Rings trilogy and then do yourself another favour and watch the Peter Jackson films…if you’ve already done both those things, I can tell you from first-hand experience that it most definitely does not hurt to do them again and as often as needed. 😉)