i read my first harry potter book when i was pregnant with millie. it was the reason we didn’t name her hermione. which was a name that i liked for a baby girl because it is the name of my favorite shakespeare character. we also didn’t name her hermione because adam would have NEVER let me name a baby after a little known shakespeare character. but that didn’t stop me from being a tiny bit bitter at j.k. rowling for using the name first. well, second if you count shakespeare.
i loved the story of harry potter from the first line of the first book...”Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense.”
she had me. i entered the books and read each one right as it came out. saw each movie the day it was released. the kids and i listened to the books on cassette tape. then on cd. we watched the movies. at some point my kids all thought they might go to hogwarts when they turned 11. the letters never arrived by owl. by the time the letters didn’t arrive the kids understood why. i think they understood why.
i have listened to a lot of the arguments for and against harry potter. i have heard a lot of good points on both sides. people that i like and trust are on both side. there is a lot of wisdom in both camps. but it all came down to this for me... it was a good story. i am a sucker for a good story. perhaps it is my downfall. perhaps it is a good thing. the jury might be out on that for a while. but nonetheless harry potter was a story that made me think. made me feel. made me care about a fictional boy and his friends. brought me into an age old battle between good and evil. it captured my imagination.
perhaps the most intoxicating part for me was that it was all about a mother’s love. lily potter’s loving sacrifice saved her son. saved the entire wizarding world. maybe that is what really intrigued me. really drew me in at the time in my life when all my loving acts for my children seem so sacrificial. if only real life was like that... if only all my sacrifices for my children could add up to be life long protection for them. the million “brush your teeths” and then the extra walk to check the toothbrushes to see if they actually did brush their teeth. the quadrziillion+1 socks washed, dried, matched, and put back in drawers (and the +1 sock in the single sock bin until a mate is found for it). the backbreaking, wallet emptying trips to the grocery store for healthy food that they will actually eat. the cooking of that food, the cleaning up of the food not eaten and storing for later and then cleaning that food out of the fridge when no one eats it even after a few days/weeks. the hours staying up rocking them, rubbing their backs, singing hymns over them, chatting with them about every thing under the sun, waiting up for them to come home from “movie night with friends”... if only ALL that sacrificial love meant that they were protected from “those things we don’t want to say out loud because if we say them that means that they actually might happen”. in harry potter world a mother’s sacrificial love protects her son. it is a bit heady for moms like me to read. really, i can protect them with my LOVE and all my sacrifices?!?!?!? sign me up!
but alas it is fiction. dang.
but in part it is the Truth. c.s. lewis said it this way in the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe... “when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the table would crack and death itself would start working backwards.”
tolkein says it this way in the fellowship of the ring...“all that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. from the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.”
a sacrifice does protect us from death. only it isn’t any sacrifice i could ever make. and yet, there is the daily “laying down of my life” that does make small differences. not in eternal protection for my kids or for myself. but in my own sanctification. in learning to trust the One who is the Chosen Son.
i loved the blog “study in brown” and i love the way she looks and thinks about things...
from and entry titled come and see the view from here...
we usually find what we are looking for.
If you go out searching for it, you can find error woven through every book, every song, every movie, every mission, every person.
But if you go out looking for Him, you can find Christ.
God is a Redeemer. He walks among sinners - and His presence infuses honor and beauty and worth to things that have no honor or beauty or worth. It is the nature of God to rescue and restore. Once we know the God-story, revealed to us in Christ Jesus, we can learn to recognize His fingerprints throughout His creation. He laces His Truth through people and cultures and time and philosophy and art and nature and song and words. Not everything is true. Not everything is God. But God's Truth is everywhere.
He is always whispering to us if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.
the biggest lie by the marketeers of the final harry potter is that catchphrase that “IT ALL ENDS” because here is the truth... though this fictional story is over, the REAL STORY won’t be over until the Author finishes it. He will have the final Word. and in a way He already did because He did say, “it is FINISHED”. the work is done. but the story isn’t over...
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross,
scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.