I love a great story, especially on the big screen, don’ t you? There are always engaging characters who draw you into their struggles. You find yourself rooting for them, believing in them. Even shouting and applauding if you’re lucky enough to find a theater where people have tossed aside their inhibitions and let loose. (Even United Methodists can do this!)
The Harry Potter saga has done this for me, in spite of the fact that early on in the book’s release a number of my Christian friends warned me against letting my children “read those books.” There was “evil in them and sorcery and darkness.” This can’t be denied. But they are imaginary, harmless, fiction, I thought.
Well, two things I have discovered about fiction, in trying to write it myself:
- Nothing is purely fictional.
- It’s often the best way to speak truth.
Until Rev. Tom brought it up Sunday, I wondered if it was just my quirky Christian-ness that found Christian themes in the movies I went to and the stories I read. I don’t think JK Rowling started out with a Christian message, but it’s amazing that we end up there. Spoiler Tom says, “Good wins.” Says that Harry breaks the elder wand when he recognizes the part of him that might not be able to resist its power. (this deviates a bit from the book)
I might have gone with the resurrection stone which shows Harry the one who died protecting him with her love. She promises to “always be with you.” Hmm. Where have I heard that plot line before?
I walked out of Sunday’s service to several conversations that started, “I wish so and so could have heard that message today.” Yes,becausesomething about the truth of story resonates. Whether or not it’s fiction. We know truth when we hear it because it sounds a lot like the way life works. The way our lives work.
I’ll admit, I thought the wisdom of the Harry Potter series would die with dear old Albus Dumbledore. He was usually the prophetic one, dispensing the take home message. Deathly Hallows Part 2 did not disappoint. Perhaps that was my favorite part, when Harry and Dumbledore meet in the great, white “train station.” And Harry asks, “Is this real or is it just in my mind?” Dumbledore assures Harry it is in his mind but asks, “Why would you assume that’s not real?” (my paraphrase)
I figure, for those really smart, scientific friends I have who shun the mythical and superstitious, I may ask if they have seen Harry Potter. Or read Huck Finn. Because religion can be heavy, but story often speaks truth…in a light, palatable sort of way…that makes you cheer.