The Last Hobbit

In those days of our tale, there were still some people who had both elves and heroes of the North for ancestors and Elrond, the master of the house, was their chief. He was as noble and as fair in face as an elf lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves and as kind as summer.
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Chapter 3 'A Short Rest'

It is as though the Elf-Lord has departed for Aman and with him the last of the great and good. He has left in charge of his house a hobbit, a creature of comfort, not fitted out for greatness by either frame or habits. Little qualified and that only by friendship and, on his best days, the desire to bear failing-witness to the traditions of hospitality which once brought healing and wholeness to his heroes.

[S]uch was the virtue of the land of Rivendell that soon all fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds. The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song.

By virtue of the hospitality of this house, fellowships were formed, quests were formulated, weapons forged, aid sought and sent. And once this was all that stood between the world and its ruin.

Elrond summoned the hobbits to him. He looked gravely at Frodo. “The time has come,” he said. “If the Ring is to set out, it must go soon. But those who go with it must not count on their errand being aided by war or force. They must pass into the domain of the Enemy far from aid. Do you still hold to your word, Frodo, that you will be the Ring-bearer?”

“I do,” said Frodo. “I will go with Sam, and Gimli too has said he will come.”

“Then I cannot help you much, not even with counsel,” said Elrond. “I can foresee very little of your road; and how your task is to be achieved I do not know. […] You will meet many foes, some open, and some disguised; and you may find friends upon your way when you least look for it. I will send out messages, such as I can contrive, to those whom I know in the wide world […]. And I will choose you a few more companions to go with you, as far as they will or fortune allows. 

— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II Chapter 3.

He can't be Elrond. Sometimes travellers come looking for the Elf-friend. He is embarrassed by their gentle disappointment. Some nights he tries on the old suits of armour and swings a sword but he can't carry them off with any dignity. It stings. More than a little. But he banks up the coals and keeps the house warm.

Still sometimes a stranger comes. Not looking for him or anyone really, but needing friends and to be pointed in a direction. And by ones and twos others wind their way up the path and pull up a chair. His tea is often better brewed than his counsel but as their hands warm, a fellowship emerges and a quest. The old magic of hospitality is not yet wrung out. Before long the roads of the wide-world will be trod by wayfarers and no one knows what might come of it.

He practices and practices at the hospitality of hope.
I dare to see some grace in this life.

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