Billabong, Hooku and Dimptha were like all hobbits because their love of home, family and comfort was their greatest value. However, even as young hobbits, they were showing far too much willingness to go on adventures than their nanny, Edna approved of. Ever since their parents were taken by the dragon because they strayed too far from their hobbit home, Edna was very careful to keep the boys close to her skirts. And home where Edna was, suited the boys fine because there the finest candies, cooked meats, cheeses and cookies always were abundant.
But then the unthinkable happened. Edna fell under a spell and was near death. Billabong, Hooku and Dimptha were frantic with worry. With no other adults to help, they had no idea what to do. Finally, they went to the clearing in the woods to think about it and hope they could find an answer between each other.
“We have to find a cure for Edna. The idea of living without Edna is terrifying.” Dimptha said without hesitation.
“But how? I doubt if we could ever know how.” Hooku said, his furry hobbit ears red with worry.
“There is a way. In this big magical universe, there’s a way.” Billabong said confidently although his heart was less sure as his mouth.
“Hobbits!” A dark foreboding voice boomed from the shadows, in the bushes that could not be seen because of the fire at night. “You have faced dangers before for the ones you love, you must face them again.” The voice said.
“Who’s there?” Dimptha said his voice quivering as much as his knees.
“Ebenezer, is it you?” Billabong suddenly burst with restrained joy in his face. If it was Ebenezer, the oldest friend of the hobbits and a wizard extraordinaire, he may have the magic to help them save Edna.
“It is I, good Billabong.” The voice said gently but all the hobbits could see was a shape, no face, no form, just a dark shape in the shadows.
“Why can’t we see you?” Hooku said distrustfully. “How can we know that its you if we don’t see your face.” The doubtful hobbit questioned the wizard.
“If you see me, your Edna will not be saved. Are you willing to give all to save her?” The wizard challenged.
All of the Hobbits said “Yes” as one voice although each were troubled by the mystery.
“Then follow me. I am truly a powerful wizard, but we must see the greatest of all the universe to save her.” The wizard commanded.
That sounded scary but they were willing to bow before the greatest of the universe to save Edna. It was hard to follow Ebenezer because he moved fast and his legs were lots longer than the hobbits legs. And he was always just a dark shape, nothing they could really see or touch, just a feeling out ahead of them really. “How do we know he is there?” Hooku said with despair but his despair only got worse when the forest closed around them and enclosed them like a deep cave.
“Follow my trail hobbits and keep your eyes on me.” Ebenezer commanded but it was impossible to see him so they had to follow their sense of his presence. They could tell his footprints because though he was hard to see, where he walked had a glow that lasted just long enough for them to step in his footsteps.
“Step in his steps” Billabong said frantically. “The only way to make it is to walk just like he walked.” And that’s what they did until suddenly Hooku went running off the path into the dark forest.
“It’s impossible. We can’t follow what we can’t see. We need to know what is there. I doubt there even is a great wizard and how can we know what is there and hee haw hee haw hee haw.” Came the eerie sound as Hooku turned into a braying donkey. Dimptha and Billabong stood staring out into the voice hearing their brother’s frantic brays and weeping for the dark magic that changed him.
“Fear not,” the voice of Ebenezer came to their ears.” His doubts made him into something small that complains. He will not perish. He will make his way back to the hobbit village and return to his shape. You cannot help him now. Run behind me, we must be fast now.”
And the hobbits doubled their pace. The fate of Hooku stuck in their memories, especially Dimptha who felt turning into a donkey must surely be terrifying.
“Hobbits, watch me only. We must cross the chasm of decision. Do not look down at the bridge but keep your eyes stayed on me and you will not fear. But run across the bridge. Do not walk. Let your love of Edna carry you.” Ebenezer cried out and almost immediately, they felt the rickety wooden bridge beneath their feet. They ran on its planks but up ahead they could see that many planks were broken or missing. They could easy miss one and fall into the gorge. They could hear the rush of water, feel the heat of fires and hear the sounds of tortured souls down there but they worked with all they had to not look down but stay their eyes on the wizards darkened back running ahead.
Suddenly there was an explosion and Dimptha looked down.
‘DIMPTHA NO!” Billabong cried out but too late. Dimptha’s face grew pale and his eyes wild with terror.
“IT’S NO GOOD. WE CAN’T MAKE IT. WE ARE TOO SMALL. THE DANGERS ARE TOO GREAT!” he cried loudly and then there was a loud SNAP and he was off the bridge. Next to him in the air was a bat flapping frantically and then it flew swiftly away crying out in Dimptha’s voice. “Run, flee, it’s the only way.” Dimptha had turned into a bat and used his tiny wings to run away in fear.
On the other side, Billabong wept.
“Do not weep good hobbit. For we have reached our destination. Dimptha will not perish. His fears will carry him home to cower with his brother. The mission to meet the great wizard cannot be accomplished by those who give in to doubt and fear. Come, He is here, the great wizard of all time. He is just over this hill.”
“Who is this great wizard?” Billabong said walking side by side to his dear friend Ebenezer who he could see clearly now.”
“He is the creator of the universe. The source of all power for good, none other than the son of God, Jesus himself and only He can heal your Edna. In fact, He already has.” And with that, they stepped over the hill and instead of a great throne room or a majestic courtyard, they were in Edna’s bedroom, back in their hobbit home. Jesus was standing next to her and took her hand. Then he said to Billabong.
“Your faith has saved her little hobbit. You did not doubt and you did not surrender to fear but you kept your eyes on your salvation and because of that, she is saved.”. Edna suddenly sat up and smiled.
“But why here?” Asked Billabong confused.
“Because God is always with you,” Ebenezer answered. “You just need to know how to see him. Your ability to see beyond doubt and fear gives you the power to see him. He will never depart you again. Now look.” The wizard said pointing out the window at Billabongs brothers, safe and playing near the well. “Go and greet them and teach them what you know.” Ebenezer said hugging his friend. “They have a lot to learn.”
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. [1 John 4:18]