What do hobbits have to do with it?
Read about Jill and her newest book to find out. Then scroll down and enter the contest for a chance to win a $200 Amazon gift card.
Hobbits, elves, and dragons have become common fantasy characters but do they have more relevance to your life than you think? Are they as real as, or the same as, people you meet every day? Maybe not literally, but J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous characters bring to life real character qualities we all can learn from, whether good or bad. What can the bravery of a hobbit, the faith of a elf, or the greed of a dragon teach teens about themselves? How can their stories lead us to the real Kingdom where God is working out way more than a fantasy for his people? Dig in to these familiar characters and relevant Bible passages to find out. Come out understanding how to live your own epic story!
Hobbits, You, and the Spiritual World of Middle-Earth is available for 99 cents for a limited time.
An excerpt from Hobbits, You, and the Spiritual World of Middle-Earth
SO UGLY HE LOOKS LIKE ME
Previous Life: One of the Riverfolk, not much different from the heroes.
Favorite food: He’s into the raw foods diet fad. Favorite Phrase: I’ve made up my mind! I think…
How low can you go? He committed murder, plotted death, torture, and betrayal, and turned himself into a nightmare shadow, all to keep the Ring. Everyone despises and fears Gollum, and yet, over and over, someone tries to bring him back. Out of pity, Bilbo refuses to kill him when he could. Gandalf insists that no one has the right to judge him before his story is played out. Frodo desperately tries to bring Gollum’s old self, Smeagol, back to recognition and renewal. Even Gollum, it seems, cannot be too far gone to have a second chance. On the other hand, in possession of the ring, even a nice, fun-loving hobbit, it seems, can sink lower than he ever imagined.
“‘Gollum!’ cried Frodo. ‘Gollum? You mean that this is the very Gollum-creature that Bilbo met? How loathsome!’
‘I think it is a sad story,’ said the wizard, ‘And it might have happened to others, even to some hobbits that I have known.’
‘I can’t understand you. You mean to say that you, and the elves, have let him live on after those horrible deeds? He deserves death.’
‘Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it.’” (The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, p. 92-3)
A chance. Sometimes a chance is all we need. Other times, a chance is all we get. And often, a chance is what we need to give. Do any of these sound like your life right now?
At the beginning of his adventure, Frodo thinks life is pretty black and white. We deserve what we get and get what we deserve. Good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people. Isn’t that right? Isn’t it what we want to believe? Because if it’s true, then, hey, you’re a pretty good person, so you’ll be OK, right? Right??
Except, one look at the news shows you that lots of innocent people suffer out there, and lots of pretty awful people get away with pretty awful stuff. Meanwhile, you and I sit around and do one of two things: we say, “Hey, I’m better than that jerk over there, so just put me on the good list.” Or, we listen to the voices telling us that we’re no good at all, we’ve done too much bad stuff, and we’ll never be any better.
Good thing for us, the Bible is full of stories about people who messed up and were given a second chance… and a third… maybe a fourth. You’ll see what I mean.
Jill’s love for hobbits and elves comes from her time as a literature teacher and as a lifelong reader of great stories. She also loves an epic challenge and a chance for grace wherever they exist. Jill has a BA in English and Education and an MDiv in theology and is an ordained minister who has served as a worship, preaching, and discipleship pastor. She has published four books previously, as well as articles in national magazines such as FamilyFun, Discipleship Journal, and Today’s Christian Woman.
Jill enjoys speaking on a variety of topics and has been very active on the MOPS circuit, as well as in junior high and high school classes. She enjoys speaking for retreats for all ages.
With three daughters, three cats, and (thankfully!) only one husband, she keeps busy otherwise with community theater, gardening, reading, scrapbooking, and traveling. Jill loves oceans, cats, chocolate, teenagers, her family, the Cubs, and God, not necessarily in that order.