Aragorn, introduced as Strider, is hard to judge at first glance in The Fellowship of the Ring. He appears as a mysterious ranger out of the wilderness who has a great deal of knowledge and no discernible reason for having that knowledge. When faced with the decision of whether or not to trust this rather wild human, Frodo uses that roughness to justify his trust.
“You have frightened me several times tonight, but never in the way that servants of the Enemy would, or so I imagine. I think one of his spies would – well, seem fairer and feel fouler, if you understand.”
Anyone who has experienced any kind of temptation can probably identify with this type of feeling that Frodo was expressing. Sometimes things look really good, but you simply have a gut instinct that something is not right. You might not be able to put your finger on it exactly, but you can tell that something is not quite the way it should be.
However, it goes deeper than that in this particular case because Aragorn as it turns out was also suspicious of the hobbits.
“In any case, I did not intend to tell you all about myself at once. I had to study you first, and make sure of you. The Enemy has set traps for me before now.”
This is one of the first difficult relationships that is portrayed in The Lord of the Rings. Sam, Merry and Pippin demonstrate their loyalty to Frodo by coming along with him right away, and there is some tension between Bilbo and Gandalf as they debate the fate of the ring.
This relationship in Bree is different, however, because there is no baseline of friendship to build off of. Right from the beginning, the hobbits need to learn to trust Aragorn, and Aragorn needs to trust the hobbits. They are going off of instinct at first which is always somewhat dangerous, but they both came to the conclusion that the other was worthy of trust.
They came to that conclusion because of a letter left by Gandalf that verifies both of their stories. It proves that Aragorn is indeed who he says he is and verifies that the hobbits are on the appointed mission to Rivendell.
As Christians, we have become part of a larger body of people who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. However, we don’t really have a baseline relationship with many of these people. After all, what do I have in common with my Christian brother in Spain? Culturally we are quite different, and we don’t even speak the same language.
We have a letter from God though that can bring us together. Even if we don’t necessarily do things the same way or maybe even get along at first, we have a remarkable book that we both come with that. That letter will help clarify misunderstandings and bring us together as brothers in Christ. We’re going to be able to take on evil in our world because of a letter from our God. Tolkien understood the importance of trust in a relationship and particularly in those relationships where we have to work together to fight a powerful enemy.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002), 171, Kindle Edition.
 Ibid., 170