My husband and I sat for a few moments in the waning daylight of September’s first day, swatting away persistent mosquitoes and chatting about unfinished summer projects.
The bittersweet end of August that sidles up to the beginning of Autumn always surprises me by the quick demise of sunlight and sudden arrival of the evening. Honestly, it wasn’t dark like this at the same time yesterday….
The upside of a finished sunset is the arrival of the fairy lights that appear entwined in the already-bloomed clematis–they show up so much better when there is a velvet background to their twinkling.
Light always shows up better in the dark.
Seasons in nature often parallel the reflections and reading I am doing in my actual, physical life and I’m currently reading (among other things) the Harry Potter book series.
I’m a very late adopter of this story series. I frankly never could see the draw and the private school where I was teaching in 1997 when the book came out had a significant influence on my opinions. “How could a Christian read such a book? It’s all about witches and wizards.”
(Well, it is, but it is also about so.much.more.)
“Don’t you know what Scripture has to say about witchcraft and sorcery?”
(Yes. Yes, I do. But I’m not sure those verses mean what we say they mean. But I digress.)
As a result of these arguments I dismissed the Harry Potter books out of hand without ever reading them. That’s the problem with dismissing things before we’ve read or listened to the whole story–forming an opinion before having all the facts is a shortsighted approach.
Alas and anon and praise God, my imaginative horizons have grown in the last several years to include writers like George MacDonald, much of Tolkein (hello Hobbit) and of course the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis’. I will posit this in light of this discussion: If Christ-followers threw away every book that had witches and wizards in it, how would we understand an enfleshed kingdom of light and the fight against darkness?
Because I read several books at once, you’ll also notice in my book stack a book by Frederick Buechner, Presbyterian minister and author of nearly forty books. He passed away at the age of 96 on August 15th. There’s an echo of this thought about the power of stories to deal with good and evil, light and darkness in his essay “The Sprig of Hope,” about the life of Noah.
for all our strategems, the legends, the myths persist among us, and even in the guise of fairy tales for the young they continue to embody truths or intuitions that in the long run it is perhaps more dangerous to evade than to confront.
There are many who would posit that Harry Potter is a representation of God’s character and person–an unassuming character who dares to confront evil that is hidden in the shadows. He is also self-sacrificing, humble, brave, uncomplaining and willing to risk his life for what is right.