Saturday, July 23, 2011

Me & HP

I arrived late to the Harry Potter series in the winter of 1998.   At 19 and a sophomore in college,  I read the first in the series over Christmas break.  Initially, I picked up the book out of curiosity for the whole phenomenon.  And I joined it.

Me & HP entered adulthood together.  I quickly read books 2, 3, and 4 and eagerly awaited reading number 5 the summer of 2003.  I had dressed up as Hermione for a singles Halloween party the previous fall.  Not exactly a flirtatious strategy, but that's me.  I read the fifth book right when it came out,  after attending a friend's wedding without even a buddy to sit with at the ceremony.  Harry faced danger at every turn and only wanted a place to call home.  I faced my first years of teaching middle schoolers and life as a young single girl.   We were in the same boat.

Harry followed me on my first anniversary weekend trip through the mountains of North Carolina.   Every agonizing step he took toward the complicated truth of his history, his parents, his mentors, and his foes, I took with him on my living room couch.  And finally, he faced his destiny.  He moved on to a new normal, and so did I.  

Which brings me to the last book, and the last movie, Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, Part II.  Obviously, there has been a lot said about this story and its moral (or lack of) value.  So I won't go into that.  It is not a Christian book nor is it written by a professing Christian author.  It draws on mythology and world religions, and thus, also has Christian themes.  If I was still a 9th grader in Ms. McCoy's Lit. I class, I'd probably think, "Harry dies so that others may live.  Just like the Old Man and the Sea.  BAM! Christ figure."

But now, I know something so much truer.   Harry, a fictional character in a fictional world, sacrifices himself to destroy the evil within himself.  But the real God-Man died to destroy the evil outside himself because "in him is no darkness at all." 

I loved every minute of  The Deadly Hallows both because it's a fantastic, epic story, but also because it echoes something real that cannot be perceived with human eyes, but experienced in the spirit.

There really are agents of good and evil battling in the unseen realms of the heavenlies.  And it really will end in conflict.  It will be epic.  And good: our God, He will triumph.

And like Harry,  all will be well.    And that's worth getting excited about.

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