Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter

Well, it's 1:30 in the morning and I just finished "The Deathly Hallows". I started about 8:15 this evening and THIS is why I read so little fiction anymore. I tend to consume well-written books and if a book bores me ... and takes me a long time to enter into the character's lives and the world in which it is written ... I don't have time for it.

I waited and waited and waited yesterday for the book to show up. When it didn't come, I finally pulled out Book 6 - The Half-Blood Prince - and re-read that. I had to preach last night, so I also spent time polishing the talk I was giving and fretting over some last-minute VBS stuff to prepare for this morning. By the end of the evening, I didn't have the 7th book in hand and forgot about it.

This morning we went to church, came home, cooked breakfast and then took a nap. I figured I would check one more time after supper to see if they had updated the tracking on the package. Whoops. It said it was delivered! UPS never delivers to our front door, but Max went ahead and checked for me. There it was. I ripped the box open and pretty much told Max that I wasn't going to be any good for the rest of the evening. He politely kissed me good night and went upstairs (poor guy).

I couldn't wait to get started. From page 1, I was entranced. It didn't begin with familiar characters, but began by introducing two of the Dark Lord's henchman and reinforcing our fear and loathing of a major character.

But, I've finished the book and I feel pretty good about the entire story. I am flabbergasted at the incredible creativity of JK Rowling and the depths of the characters she has built. She has obviously lived in this world and watched these people interact. You can tell how much she has loved them. Her mind is pretty amazing and if she weren't so famous because of these books, she'd be awfully interesting to talk to. I appreciate anyone that can strip me out of my world and plant me solidly in a world of their creation.

The story of Harry Potter has always been about love and sacrifice and it remains that way through the end of the story. It is also about redemption. Harry couldn't bear to see people in pain - whether it was Peter Pettigrew, who had been a friend of his parent's and then acted as a snitch to the Dark Lord, or Cho, who gave them up when forming Dumbledore's Army. He understood that he had a greater purpose in life.

We aren't all called upon to be the one great leader that will battle the Dark Lord ... that task is left to Jesus Christ. But, we are all called on to be prepared to sacrifice to bring others to Jesus. Harry Potter's mother gave up her life to protect her son, and in doing so offered him a protection that was all-powerful.

I find it interesting to see the connection here. The blood that flows through Harry Potter comes from his mother who offered the ultimate sacrifice. The blood that flows through each of us comes from Jesus Christ, who offered the ultimate sacrifice by battling and winning over the Dark Lord.

In the end, good wins out over evil ... every time! There's a reason for this underlying thread that runs through all good stories. Authors and movie writers may not know why they write this way, but I certainly do. There is hope ... eternal hope. This hope is offered to us by the cross. And whether or not people want to acknowledge it ... life on earth for everyone, not just for Christians, is made better by the hope that was given to us when Christ conquered Satan on the cross.

So ... Harry Potter. I've finished the story. If you REALLY want to know who dies and what happens at the end, I'll tell you. I was darned proud of myself. I didn't read the end of the book first. I started at page one and read straight through. I wanted to know how many pages I had to read, so I checked the last page, but I have to say I kept my eyes firmly planted on the bottom of the page, so as to read the page number and no words above it. I had told my friends and my husband that I don't like surprises, and I really thought I was going to go ahead and read the ending first. But, as I got wrapped up in the story, I couldn't do it. I had to let it play out. Rowling practically demanded that I do that. She was unrolling the tapestry piece by piece and you could see the history of her characters develop and the action of the present was pressing towards the end. So, I read it and enjoyed every minute of it.

Can I just tell you that I'm thankful to be a fast reader? I don't think I could have happily drawn this out over a few days. I had to finish as quickly as possible. Every time I had to go to the bathroom or let the dog outside, or clean up the kitchen and put supper away, or talk on the telephone, I was screaming in my mind. I just wanted to read.

I'm kind of sad that it's over. But, it's been an amazing run. These will be 7 books that I'll enjoy reading again and again.

The tale of Harry Potter has been told. Hmmm ... I wonder what's next!

1 comment:

Jacqniel said...

I started reading HP today during chemo. I am not a fast reader - reading usually lulls me to sleep, so I can only read so long - but I am going to try to get through it in the next couple of days.
I like how you compared the events in the book to Christ. You really do have an amazing talent for this. Ever think of writing? LOL - just kidding.