“Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not Today. Good morning! But please come to tea – any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Goodbye!”
-Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit
Fiction, from a young age, has always possessed the capability to hold my heart in its hands. There has been nothing more thrilling than briefly giving myself over to a time completely separate from the one in which I live, from Scheherazade’s 1001 nights worth of stories to a graying wizard, his hairy-toed hobbit friends, and a mysterious ring. In reference to the not-so-humble opinion of one Albus Dumbledore, words are indeed our most inexhaustible source of magic. Anything is possible at the hand of an author, and that simple fact is nearly enough to blow the hair off my curl-ridden head.
With this being said, many authors have an incredible talent of tying life lessons into their work. Beneficial? Of course. Makes you think twice about the way you do life? For me, absolutely. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, readers are quickly introduced to the lifestyle of the title’s namesake creatures. Here’s a speedy, E.B. summary: hobbits don’t do anything outside their realm of comfort. Honestly, I wouldn’t blame them. Their cozy underground homes are perfect for sleeping and cozying up by a fireplace. Social events and celebration is always a highlight. Plus they eat, like, six meals a day on a bad day. Life is good when you’re a gentle hobbit. Good, that is, until an unlikely visitor comes into your home with a troupe of similarly-named dwarves and beckons you on an adventure.
Here’s the thing, though: I, too, love comfort. I love sleeping. I love the concept of coziness. And I, believe it or not, would probably eat six meals a day should I reprimand the foreboding dread of cardiac arrest by the time I hit thirty. Would I jump at the sign of an adventure if it came knocking, or would I hole myself back into my comfortable life like the 5’9″ Hobbit I actually am? Despite the amount of times I have asked myself this question since my journey into the Lord of the Rings, an opportunity this summer has knocked at my door that, like young Bilbo Baggins, I’ve had to forget my hobbit roots to embark on. In eleven days, I will be serving an abroad internship in the heart of Honduras at a child care facility called Faith Home with one of my best friends.
Faith Home is a General Baptist ministry that provides a safe and healthy place to educate, love, and raise children who were neglected, abandoned, and abused. My first visit to Faith Home occurred nearly ten years ago when my parents and I traveled with our church family serving as a mission team. At my sprightly age of 11, my rudimentary Spanish knowledge and shy nature might not have been exactly advantageous to the cause. However, what I learned in Honduras could never have been truly conveyed by even the greatest translator. I saw the purest form of love in the little girls’ adamancy on braiding my hair for me. I met those who lived on less than a few dollars a day, but claimed to be rich beyond belief. I learned that I take my blessings for granted all to often. Making a three-week return as a much less shy, nearly fluent version of myself is something that excites me beyond my belief, and I give God nothing less than complete glory for it all. During our stay, we will be serving the facility, assisting the mission teams traveling in and out, and simply loving on the kids there. (It has also been foreshadowed that we might get to teach English too, which has the bookish side of me tickled pink, as one could imagine!)
Being able to impact a demographic I am passionate about at a place I fell in love with years ago while simultaneously serving as the hands and feet of Christ is a triple win for me. My prayer has always been to be sent where I am needed, and if its two adjoining plane rides to a spot along the equator, then it looks like I’m packing a few things of sun block and bug spray!
Though I may be a humble hobbit on the inside, the Road goes ever on and on, down from the road where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow if I can.
Until next time,
***blog copied from M1 Church International Intern, Erin Bonner.