Have I told you lately how much I love Harry Potter? I remember when the books first came out. I lived in Columbus, Ohio and worked at a daycare center. One of the mother’s had set up a booth selling Girl Scout Cookies in the entry way and was reading one of the books in between sales. I remember thinking it was odd that an adult would be so swept away by a children’s book.
For two more years, everywhere I went it was Harry Potter this and Harry Potter that. Yet I still refused to read the books. Finally, I was given a gift certificate from my school for the book fair and I used it to buy the first 4 books. That was in 2002, I believe.
When we moved to Texas, I was lonely and bored. There was nothing else to do for the weeks I waited to move into my new classroom, so I picked up the books. I was hooked immediately. I wouldn’t and couldn’t put them down. I read all four in a few weeks.
I didn’t complete the series until 2007, when I finally pushed through book 5 (which I must admit the first 300 pages dragged) and eagerly devoured 6 and 7. That book series was just amazing, so rich and full of nuggets of wisdom.
I didn’t really get into the movies until the 5th one. Ironically that one was my least favorite book, but favorite movie. I have really enjoyed watching those kids grow up on the big screen. It amazes me that each of the actors stuck with the project til the end. The most recent movie is just as I expected-great. When I first saw the movie poster for it (the one pictured above), I swear it brought tears to my eyes, and the movie didn’t disappoint.
Tonight we are having a movie night for our Uniteens at church and we will be watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. On Sunday, we will start a spiritual curriculum called Lumindorf that is based on the Harry Potter series. My neighbor is letting me borrow her copy of the movie and joked with me about whether I was sure it was safe to show the movie in a church. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a religious person in my life years ago.
I know there are certain fundamental groups that took issue with Harry Potter because of the witches and wizards theme. At that time, I asked this person, who is Southern Baptist, if she had a problem with it. Her answer to me was that it wasn’t the magical themes that bothered her but the fact that the kids continuously broke the rules. At the time that was very logical reasoning to me and to a point I even agreed. Now all these years later, I think it’s the fact that Harry, Ron, and Hermoine break all those rules that makes them so heroic. Ultimately they were guided from within, every step of the way. They were always presented with situations they needed to face head on. They never disregarded the rules and always felt guilty and readily awaited their punishments. But the rules they broke needed to be broken and somehow they knew in each of those moments there wasn’t another choice.
I am so happy to be a part of a spiritual community that is willing to find truth in many different sources and doesn’t depend on just one book for all their answers. I am happy that I can use an imaginative and enjoyable piece of literature to teach these kids about positive living and the many ways Spirit can work in their lives.