Harry Potter and a Greater Hope

By Wednesday, June 08, 2016 , , ,

Just do it… I’ll be with Sirius again. 

Such were Harry’s thoughts as he writhed in pain, expecting to die by the hand of Lord Voldemort at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, fifth installment in J.K. Rowling’s epic series about a boy wizard. But as the thought of joining his dear, departed godfather crystallized, Voldemort could no longer touch Harry. 

The film translation of this moment also stands out to me, though it’s different. Voldemort tries to possess Harry’s mind, to fill it with thoughts of pain and the deaths he’s seen. But Harry latches onto memories for which Voldemort has no category… 

Laughing with his best friends, Ron and Hermione. 

Hermione tackling him in a hug. 

Tender moments with Sirius.

His mother sacrificing herself to protect him.

And with that, Harry’s mind is out of Voldemort’s power. “You are the weak one, Harry whispers. “You will never know love or friendship, and I feel sorry for you.” 

Photo Credit: Favim.com

In his heart of hearts, Harry has seen that even if he dies, he will be better off than Voldemort because love is stronger than hate. Voldemort’s corrupt heart cannot receive love or goodness because he has bought the lie that love makes a person weak. Harry knows better. Love is his lifeline – his unwavering, steadying rock when turmoil has seemingly enveloped him. 

The Harry Potter books drive this point home time and time again. Love is not weakness; it is strength. Evil cannot understand love, so it sees death as the worst possible fate, but good knows that death need not be feared because love – real, strong, faithful love – lasts forever. I’m so thankful for how this book series has reminded me to look for the good and to hold friends close. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have a profound love for each other that stirs deep emotions. Harry’s parents are consistently remembered for fiercely loving one another and Harry. Friendship and love are Harry’s constants as he faces unimaginable danger and fear in his quest to defeat Voldemort, and like Harry, we all want a constant and a safe place. After all, this world can be a scary, sad place. 

Only this week, a sickening rape story has dominated the news cycle. Personally, days can seem very long right now and it’s easy to wonder if there’s any point to it all. Last year, this happened to my best friend, and this week, cancer has returned to her dad’s body. And a few weeks ago, precious friends buried their 6-month-old little girl. Everywhere we turn, things can seem so, so dark. 

And that’s when I have to remember that, as much as I now appreciate Harry and his friends, his story ultimately lacks something. Where is the presiding, sovereign hope beyond his immediate circumstances? From whence does the love between him, Hermione, and Ron stem? The messages of love and hope in these books remind me of two long-ago penned thoughts about love: 

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is as strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.” –Song of Solomon 8:6-7 

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…” –1 Corinthians 13:7-8 

Yes, love is stronger than hate and death. But why? 

Because real love is rooted in a greater love that promises hope beyond this hurting world: 

We love because He first loved us. –1 John 4:19 

The love of God was so rich, so deep, so unconditional, that he gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as our mediator. Jesus laid down his life so that we wouldn’t have to. And then he rose to life once again, victorious over death, so that we could have a perfect life with him forever in a place where sorrow, death, pain, and struggle will be no more. Harry didn’t have such a promise in his story, but I do. The burden of winning the ultimate battle isn’t on my shoulders; it’s already a guaranteed win because of Jesus. When things look dark and I can’t seem to feel past the pain or disappointment, that is a constant, unwavering rock to stand on. And until that perfected day comes, I can look forward to it in hope and savor the small foretastes we have here of the glory that’s awaiting us, even when trials come. And deep friendships, love of family, laughter, and hugs certainly count among evidences of the paradise in store. And I’d say a good story does too, including one set in a fantastical world of magic and owls. It’s just all meant as a signpost that points to the best and perfectly complete that’s yet to come.

Photo Credit: Fanpop

*I do not own the rights to the photos in this post*

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