Friday 23 August 2013

Guilty Pleasures

Not everything's straightforward when the incumbent is recumbent. Typing blogs and e-mails is actually quite hard when you're supposed to stay lying down: there just isn't a satisfactory position for the laptop. You can't just run down and fetch stuff when you need it: most of the things I need to refer to are down in my office where the big computer and filing cabinets are. As I'm limited for now in some respects I'm making a nuisance of myself in other ways - e-mails, facebook, blogging...

And then there's deciding what to read. Although it would be fantastic to catch up on some great work of scholarship or a really challenging novel, the truth is I don't feel too much like it. You get dozy in bed, more so on painkillers, and it's not comfortable to struggle with a heavy tome (in either sense of the word "heavy") So you go for something, not exactly trashy, but a little lighter, to keep your mind off your troubles while not overtaxing it.

So - I expect you've guessed it - my guilty pleasure is Harry Potter. I know, I know, I'm not a teenager any more, and I should know better. Ben and the other children finished with them years ago. And some Christians would wonder if they are good for my spiritual health - all that wizardry...

What's amazed me though is how Christian they are. In the last book Harry goes back to the village where his parents are buried. There are significant epitaphs on two grave stones. One says, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." This is a straight quotation from the words of Jesus in the Gospel, where He advises us that earthly goals can never satisfy us - see Matthew 6:21. So what is the preaching of Jesus doing in a kids' book?

The second is on Harry's parents own grave and says, "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." This is another Bible quote, see 1 Corinthians 15 v.26, from a chapter that is all about the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. Is J K Rowling really an evangelist?

The graveside location reminds us that the special protection Harry has always enjoyed from the attacks of evil has come about because his parents, his mother especially, laid down their lives to save him. This is referred to as "deep magic" somewhere in the story, a magic Voldemort is incapable of understanding, and surely a reference also the "Deep magic from before the dawn of time" that brings Aslan back from the dead in C S Lewis' books and which the White Witch is equally incapable of comprehending.

For Voldemort has foolishly tried to gain immortality by forging horcruxes. The word "crux" means a cross, but these are crosses of horror where someone has to be murdered before they gain their power. In an inversion of the true cross, where Jesus lays down his life so that others may live, Voldemort takes others' lives so that he may live - but in fact this life is a loveless living death. His name I supposed is intended to mean "Death Wish."

In the final showdown, Harry defeats Voldemort by the values of the cross. He lays down his life, deliberately handing himself over as a sacrifice in order to spare others. As a result, not only are they protected from Voldemort's evil spells, but Harry himself is brought back from the dead (just read it!) and goes on to defeat his uncomprehending arch-enemy.

There is a deliberate echo of the Gospel story here. It's time J K was outed as Christian I think...

1 comment:

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

I never thought of it like that, thank you!

If books are difficult, have you tried audio books? There is a way to download them from the library. I know you may not have got around to registering but maybe Elisa could, the lorry library is in Wraysbury a couple of days a week. Alternatively, I have some audible books I'm happy to save to mp3 for you to borrow, a slightly eclectic collection including The Help, some Jack Reacher (by Kee Childs) some Scottish detective books, some Cecelia Ahern (probably not) and quite a few Stephen King novels . Just let me know if any sound interesting.

Thoughts and Prayers, hope you are recovering x