Coronavirus: Our Unexpected Journey

Welcome to Real Life. Courage is not lack of fear, but facing the challenge despite the fear.
“Why the halfling?” Lady Galadriel asks.

“I don't know. Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I've found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid and he gives me courage,” Gandalf replies.
Stuck at home due to the Coronavirus, my husband and I needed an epic film series to divert our attention. What better than J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? As we began The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I recalled Tolkien wrote these books during World War II, a time of great fear, suffering, and death. The very woes we face in this pandemic.

The tale begins when the wizard Gandalf hosts a battle summit in Bilbo’s home—without the hobbit’s consent. The dwarfs are on a quest to re-take their mountain home from the dragon Smaug. Gandalf volunteers Bilbo to act as burglar. “No, thank you!” is Bilbo’s decided response. He has no appetite for adventures that will carry him far beyond his cozy armchair in the Shire. However, when Bilbo awakens the next morning to discover he's been left behind, he hurries to catch the troop. So, begins his unexpected journey. Though smallest, weakest, and most afraid, his courage rises with each challenge. And remarkably, the halfling often plays a key role in rescuing the others.

If given the choice, no doubt we’d all respond, “No, thank you. I’d rather sit out this pandemic.” We long for the comfort of last month's normal. But unlike Bilbo, we have no choice. You and I have been conscripted in the quest to fight Coronavirus.

Like Bilbo, I often feel smallest, weakest, and most afraid. What can one person do? “…it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.” As I listened to Gandalf, the gravity of his words struck me.

“My power is made perfect in weakness,”[1] God’s Spirit reminded me. We believe the strong and powerful alter history. Paradoxically, God often chooses the small, the weak, the afraid, the most unlikely candidate to accomplish his purposes. Consider Moses the reluctant, Joseph the prisoner, Gideon the fearful, Ruth the foreigner, Rahab the harlot, Mary the teenager, Matthew the tax collector, and even Jesus Christ himself the despised and rejected.[2]
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
1 Corinthians 1:26-27 NIV
In this war against Coronavirus, it is the ordinary folk who will keep the darkness at bay. The small, foolish things will win the war. Stay home. Wash hands. Social distance. Disinfect surfaces. Buy groceries for a friend. Check in on the isolated. Pray. Practice patience. Remain calm. Simple acts of kindness and love in the face of fear.

The Coronavirus is our unexpected journey. May our courage rise to the challenge as we fight this foe together . . . albeit six feet apart.

Here I am, Lord, the small, afraid, foolish one.
I am available.

Take it further...
  • How can I pray for you through this crisis? Leave a comment and I will pray.

[1] 2 Corinthians 12:9
[2] Isaiah 53:1-3
Image: Author's photo of DVD set cover


  1. Thanks Peggi! Wes said you are a great writer and I agree!! This quote he thought was an appropriate comment from Bilbo,
    "We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them.”

    1. Wow! Thank you for the generous compliment! And for sharing the great quote. Normally, I'm up for an adventure. But lately, I'm feeling much more like Bilbo.

  2. My husband was diagnosed with ALS the same day we went into quarantine. We expected the diagnosis but were praying for it to be ANYTHING but that. Now his therapies, appointments and equipment is all delayed indefinitely. However, the silver lining in this is that the FDA is showing us how they can relax their regulations to suit them. So... a large group of advocates are pushing for a treatment called NurOwn to be rushed to market. In some patients in trials, it has cured their symptoms! Please pray for God’s mercy and His intervention to get this treatment and others (gene therapy) available to us now! Also, it would be wonderful if we could travel a bit this summer as a family, before his symptoms prevent that. We had BIG plans and would be so sad to cancel them. Thank you!!

    1. Lynnerie74, I am praying for you and your dear husband.
      Dear Lord, please help and heal her husband. Please open doors to the best treatment possible. Fill them with faith and hope and strength through this. Protect this family against the Coronavirus. Surround them with your grace and peace. Please bless them with the ability to travel this summer. I ask in Jesus' name. Amen.


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