Books and Book Reviews: June 2003 Archives

A Moral Lesson from Harry Potter


Yes, I know there is much clamor in the world regarding this, and I don't mean to stir up a wasp's nest, but I couldn't help share this as it occurs to me each time I read the book or see the film. (Several at this point.)

Toward the end of the first book Dumbledore asks Harry why it was that he was so damaging to the enemy. Harry, of course, doesn't have a clue and Dumbledore explains (I paraphrase here). When your mother gave her life it was for love of you. Love like that leaves a mark--no, not on the outside, but in here (touching the heart).

This is so true in merely human terms. We are transformed by this giving in a merely human way. So, what about the Love who gave Himself. Surely that should leave a mark, and surely by the size of the giving, the Mark must be greater. And yet, often when I speak with Christians, I see no sign of that mark. Too often people are so wrapped up in their agendas and in their complaints, that the sign of that great mark is too effaced to make a difference.

There are two quotes, and again I paraphrase, related to this. The first attributed to Mohandas Gandhi, "Christianity is a very fine religion. Too bad so few practice it." The second is Chesterton's, and the experts among us may correct me: " It is not that Christianity has been tried and been found wanting, but it has been found too difficult and not tried."

Again, because this is a morning of it, I accuse myself--too often wrapped up in personal problems, agendas that I don't even recognize, and things of the world, I give a very poor image of Christ to those who might seek Him if they had better examples. Surely the great love that led to the death of Love Incarnate is sufficient to make a mark that will do more than vaporize imaginary wizards. Surely it is a great fire that would consume all and make it Holy, if only I would fan the flames and take it out of the protective glass case I have placed it in. Isn't our mission to spread the light, not merely to preserve it? Good God, help me, I have failed so greatly in this commission.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Books and Book Reviews category from June 2003.

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