Written on September 7, 2016.
Denethor: Can you sing Master Hobbit?
Pippin: Well…yes. At least well enough for my own people. But we have no songs for great halls and… Evil times.
Denethor: And why should your songs be unfit for my hall? Come sing me a song.
Pippin: Home is behind, the world ahead. And there are many paths to tread.
This dialogue has been tinkering around my mind for a few days. It wasn’t until I typed it,I realized it wasn’t quite as positive as I thought, lol. Yet, there was a reason it was resounding. And you just never know what tinder, Pappa will use to ignite a fire.
It began a few days ago, when I asked Tav where Axel Pearl was. He said, “I think she is upstairs in the hall.” Questions could have followed a comment such as that, but I knew exactly what he meant. For two little men are learning to share a room through sillies and slumbers and that takes just a little adult supervision.
And it returned me to the great halls of my day. Not those of stone and stature, but those wedged between doorways of days and nights when a steward was needed. Cubbies in quaint castles where our family dwelled.
It always seemed that our growing crew found haven in homes with three bedrooms. So as we grew, that meant someone or someones were always learning to share sanctuary. As babies joined toddlers and toddlers joined biggles, we were consistently in transition and training.
I spent many hours in our great halls. Those days were not inhabited by little boxes that can connect you to the outside world. We had one stationary box down in the basement and I didn’t seem to find myself there much.
I sat amid the collection of doors watching for shadowy feet beneath them, listening for “whispers” that could wake. I said, “Get back in your bed, "don’t wake the baby” or “put Buzzlight year back in the toy box” over and again. As they learned to dwell in peace and harmony (often three in a room) I gleaned the giggles and the mayhem was a melody.
Between rattling doorknobs and catching fingertips that couldn’t keep themselves inside, I balanced checkbooks, meal planned, lesson planned, wrote songs and stories, journal entries and annual holiday letters. A few naps may have happened here and there.
Those halls became a place where dreams turned to prayers and prayers to dreams. They were pauses at the top of stairs that led to the rest of the world. In short seasons, that really did become a long one before I knew it, I made my way down those stairs. Because of my great halls, I was able to without ending up spilt and sprawled at the bottom.
I am abundantly grateful for greatFULL halls. Not just of the then, but the now. For we all have halls. Those places where we wait for something to change, to shift or to grow. The places where tests are placed into little pots and nurtured to testimony. The places where we wait for that phone call, letter or delivery. For the break, the breakthrough and the breakout.
Halls are tight because we are tethered. If not, we would jump the ledge to fly on our own just as walls are coming down and the doors are opening. When whittled becomes wide open. And nestled turns to never before.
A Hebrew word for hall is ‘lishkah’ meaning “chamber or cell.” Isn’t that ever our choice? How we see it, the way we perceive it. A chamber is a place of intimacy, relationship and communion. A cell, a prison held under lock and key. Which will you let your great hall be?
Let Pappa reveal a great hall you are steward of. If it has become a cell to you, let Him lead you back to the chamber He intends it to be. Don’t teeter at the top of the stairs, but treasure every moment with Him there.