True confessions time I guess. I thought I had escaped the whole Harry Potter thing. I prefer William Falkner, Ernest Hemingway, et al. I like to be able to drop obscure references to literary greats at coctail parties, impressing people with my literary acumen, and hoping beyond hope they’ll walk away saying, “Um, so intelligent, and a Christian too.” That’s right, hordes of people will come into Christ’s kingdom simply because I allude to Holden Caulfield’s encounter with a prostitute or the importance of viewing Addie Bundren through a feminist lens.
But Harry Potter? Blame it on Steve, and Claire, and Maddie, for that matter. Having left such “literature” lying around open for all to see, and especially where our new reader, Ally Daniels, could get a hold of it, was like laying match to gasoline. One chapter read in a second-story girl’s bedroom on Ulverston Street in Oak Park, and the rest is history. That was 9 January. It’s 27 February today, and I have only a hundred pages left of the Goblet of Fire, book 4, for the uninitiated.
I was about to give up hope for the future of my “evangelization through intellectual prowess” campaign, when a dear friend of mine who is not a Christ-follower spied our bookshelf and told me that we had something in common. “What’s that’,” I asked. “We both love Harry Potter.” “Oh yeah,” I assured her. “We’re hooked.”
“Nicolas and I were going to buy you a copy, but we figured that because you guys are Christians you wouldn’t like books like that.”
So, in an addition to amazingly wonderful conversations with Ally about sources and use of benevolent and malevolent supernatural power, about structures of power over and through the human soul, we see once again where by simply being who we are, stereotypes are challenged and overcome.
Now, the only remaining step is to deal with my budding obsession. The moment I start calling friends and colleagues Ron and Hermione and imagining that I am working at Hogwarts on a mission to defeat the evil Lord Voldemort will be the day I hang up my robe and wand. But all my friends at my HP fan group* assure me that what others call “obsession” is simply normal.
(*I’m not really a part of a fan group. It just seemed a funny thing to say… Really.)