July 16, 2011

Tears "Rowling" Down My Cheeks...

Dear Reader,
All my life my parents had told my siblings and me that we couldn't read or watch Harry Potter because of the witchcraft and magic in it, and I honestly was perfectly content with that. But for some reason, while we were over babysitting my oldest niece one evening of February 2010, my mom plucked the movie off the shelf and put Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the DVD player --- just to give it a try. We are huge Lord of the Rings fans, and discovered with pleasure that this Harry Potter movie seemed to be not all that different! There was magic, but it wasn't the sickening, God-dishonoring junk we always presumed it was before. There was that precious good vs. evil flavor everyone enjoys, and many really excellent characters.

Rubeus Hagrid made me laugh with his repetitive 'I should not have said that', and I was intrigued by the mysterious character of Severus Snape. I'd always liked Alan Rickman as an actor, and by the end of the movie --- despite how Harry and his friends had seriously misunderstood him, or perhaps, because they had --- I was determined to always let him be a 'good guy' in my heart.
Ron Weasly's facial expressions just killed me, in a good way, and the prejudiced Dursley's drove me nuts! Truly, I liked every moment of it, and I believe the sweet ending had me in tears.

Soon, we'd gone through the series up until the sixth movie, and ended up watching them several times each. My younger sister, Emily, read every one of the books, and she was the one I always went to when I didn't understand parts of the lengthy story. But it wasn't over.

When the Deathly Hallows Part I movie came out in November of last year, my mom, sisters and I joined some of our friends who are also Harry Potter fans to see the midnight showing in the theater. It was the first Harry Potter movie I'd be seeing in the theater, and I was so excited!
It disappointed me greatly. The story was fantastic, to be sure, but the scene with Ron and the horcrux made me furious. And the ending.... I knew before we sat down that they would end the first part of the Deathly Hallows at the worst possible point, but I had no idea it would be that horrible! Talk about cliff-hanger.
Coming out of the theater, I had yet nothing good to say about this particular movie. Skipping the horcrux scene in the future while watching it on the laptop with Emily, however, helped it to improve on me. Even so, I kept on hoping the last movie would not let me down as this one had.

The wait was awful. At least at first. Yes, it's a hallow thing that can only fill us up with excitement and pleasure for a little while --- unlike faith and a relationship with Christ; everlastingly satisfying, and altogether better than anything else we can imagine --- but stories are my passion; they always have been. Now that I'd fallen in love with the characters, it was hard to wait and see where they would go next.

One night this past week, I stayed up later than I ought to have listening to Emily reading aloud essential clips from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book. Neville Longbottom had been my favorite character for the longest time, but what Emily read aloud to me caused me to change my mind. Neville had to step down to second on my favorites list to make room for Severus Snape, whose story both delighted and heartily saddened me beyond words. From that hour on to this moment, his character has continued growing on me immensely. He was definitely always a favorite, but now he is the top, and I doubt that's going to change anytime soon.

But finally --- yesterday --- the day came. My dad had worked an extra hour so that my mom, Emily and I could go see Deathly Hallows Part II in the theater. The midnight showing tickets were sold-out, but that was fine by me because I severely dislike staying up excessively late. (It makes my grumpy.) And I was still afraid that I would find this final piece to the Harry Potter series to be a terrible disappointment.
Yesterday afternoon, once we had found some nice seats somewhere up front in the middle-right of the room, I began to feel a deep dread. "Why on earth did I come?" I asked my mom, who sat on my right, and Emily on hers. I hate theaters! And what if this movie really was a disappointment? Just in case, with just a smidgen of hope that it might possibly exceed my expectations, I forced myself to expect it to be an awful letdown. But this wasn't necessary.

Because of Emily's reading aloud to me the aforementioned night, I knew a little about where and when to expect the story to turn. Despite some fears others had aroused in me, there wasn't more action than story, and there was plenty of comic relief. I'd hate to give any part of the story away to anyone who has yet to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, but I had to write and say how much I LOVED it! There was a scene with Severus Snape --- remember, he's my favorite character --- that was... perfect. It caused me to cry buckets, unashamedly. Apparently, my mother could feel me shaking as I wept, but I couldn't help it, and I didn't want to. I had tears "Rowling" down my cheeks!

The story had every ounce of satisfaction I had dared to dream of and more. Anyone shall have an extremely hard time trying to convince me that it could be better!

And now, amidst other reading, I am beginning the Harry Potter books for myself. Emily would joyfully read them all aloud to me from start to finish, and I might let her do so anyway, but I'd like to be able to say that I read them all on my own. I think Daniel Radcliffe was right when he disclosed the opinion that people will love the Harry Potter books and movies for generations to come. They already have a great head start!

So, thank you to J.K. Rowling for writing these excessively fun, thrilling, and altogether brilliant books to enjoy, and to everyone who has put so much effort into making the story last.

Although Harry Potter really has grown to mean a lot to me over the past year-and-a-half, I'm determined to never give it as high a status in my life as the Truth. I will hold to Christ more than anything, especially now with this series of stories stealing away much of my time and nearly half of my thoughts. I want my Savior and God to forever be my Number One.

"Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me."
-A. W. Tozer

May this quote not dishearten, but encourage you to put the Lord first, always.

God bless you all!

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