Bilbo is an old Hobbit, used to his own ways and certainly he needs no one to tell him what to do or how to think. He has been on his own for so many years. In the film he organises his farewell party and sets up everything so he can leave Bag End and be off on the road again. So when Gandalf comes to his door and tells him of the Ring, that he should not keep it and leave it to Frodo, Bilbo takes it pretty bad and old friend Gandalf gets this angry "what business is it of yours what I do with my own things!" from him. Of course Bilbo reacts to the power the Ring, to a point that he even thinks that Gandalf wants to rob him, that he wants it for himself. Gandalf has to really show his colours to get all this straightened up.
What could possibly convince Bilbo that he had to let the Ring go, and leave without it? When you consider the power that the Ring must have had on him for 60 years, and how he WAS going to keep it after all, it must have been terribly hard for him to part from it. In fact, when Bilbo does actually parts from it, he can't even hand it out, or put it somewhere. He has to summon all his courage to just let it drop on the floor. And even after that, he is exhausted, if somewhat sad and relieved.
What made him do it, then? I can't get off my mind this heartbreaking image and look in Gandalf's eyes when he kneels down to be at Bilbo's height and put his hand on his shoulder and says: 'trust me.' This scene is among the most beautiful ones in the whole film.
Maybe (certainly) because of previous personal experiences, I used to think that to 'trust' meant to abandon your power into someone else's hands, to lose control and give it to others. And maybe it is, some of it must be, anyway, if only for a while. But what this scene in the film shows me is that rather than being taken over by Gandalf's will and power, and simply obeying him, Bilbo is actually taking the momentum that his trust in Gandalf gives him to go a little further. And so I find in this scene, among other examples, that trust is not something that alienates you or makes you weaker, on the contrary. It is because he trusts Gandalf that Bilbo can go on with his life, literally.
What makes you trust someone? What makes you do that further step that can literally change your life? Trust is a door that opens only when you want it, an interior threshold only known to you, a leap of faith that no-one but you can make. And the key to open this door is love. Only love can make that happen.
And so it is that this story and film and tale of love and courage teaches me again and never ceases to amaze me.
I wish all a very nice Saturday, may the Summer Solstice bring light and beauty in your hearts.