Tag Archive | Harry Potter

Irony and Dementors: Exceedingly Joyous Musings of a Hogwarts Drop-out

Guten tag, friends!

That is German for hello, by the way. I have taken it upon myself to teach my tongue the beautiful language of German. Not that I am completely confident that I will finish, but my language-learning-app says I’m already 9% fluent in German. That’s enough to keep me going.

I had better get right to the point instead of boring you with my linguistic endeavors.

Well, here goes.

The story begins on one blustery autumn dawn, before the sun came up, and the wind was coming so hard that all the trees turned into skeletons within minutes. I had just gotten my cup of Dandy Blend “coffee” and was now sipping it with great etiquette in the covers of my twin bed. I reached for my journal and started writing earnestly.

“Dear God,” I began, as I always do. The letter to the Almighty God spanned about two pages, and all through it something in my heart was bitterly wrong. I felt strange. I had no feeling of enthusiasm, and there was no sense that I was close to God as I had always felt. I began to pray aloud, but something was not right. It felt like a dark cloud was raining and thundering over my heart, and I wanted to open up my chest to check if that was possible. It felt very real. As I reached for my Bible, there was a strange impulse to withdraw my hand. I resisted, and opened the thin, fragile pages of God’s love letter to the book of Matthew.

Something was dreadfully wrong.

There was no wish, no crazed zeal to hear what God was speaking into me. I felt gross, ugly, wicked. What was happening? I did not want such feelings to be in my heart, yet there they were. I wanted to just sink into a hole and never come out. “God!” I cried. “Please, I do not understand!” There was something very funny going on inside of me. I had just finished that Hinduism paper I mentioned from the last post, so I concluded that it was the source of my troubled spirit.

As the day drew on, however, the dark clouds gathered over my heart in torrents, and the darkness descended on my countenance. I searched my mind, and was determined to figure out what was the source of my sadness and the indescribably miserable feeling that I was very far from God’s hands. I missed the joy that flooded my heart and the soothing sound of the Spirit’s voice deep within my soul. I thought I could hear Him sometimes, but lies were creeping in, and I decided that either it was God’s voice, or it was a lie. I did not know whether it was God or Satan whispering into my mind. It was scary that I couldn’t discern which was which. I instantly remembered the verse “My sheep know my voice.” If I didn’t know God’s voice, then…

I cried to my parents, I poured over my Bible and cried out to God in my journal, but there was inevitably something in the way. Something I knew very well was a block in my path, but liked too much to remove.

In a desperate attempt to free myself, I listened to praise music, decided I needed to stop being legalistic, and was determined to be free and happy. I just wanted to live in joy of Christ, after all! All I want to do is live for Jesus!

Didn’t I?

A thin beam of freedom came through my dark box of sadness on a day I did not expect. I was sitting lazily in the car as we drove home from a recent college visit in California. My sister and I had just started listening to Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. It was turning out to be my favorite book in the series: Buckbeak the flying Hippogriff, Professor Lupin who was really a tormented, lonely werewolf in disguise, the new menacing dementors, Sirius Black, and Hermoine’s time-turner were elements that were fantastical and symbolic. I loved every word of it.

As I listened to Harry talk to Professor Lupin about his dementor complex, it made me think about my own predicament. Professor Lupin’s words were something that made me start thinking. Instead of quoting the book, which I tried to do, I will briefly explain Lupin’s lecture here.

He told Harry that being around a dementor was terrible because they sucked out all the happiness from you. They were cold, soulless beings who had no emotion, no sight, and no anything, really. If you were a immensely horrible person, you would get the “dementor’s kiss,” which is where your soul gets sucked out of you. Without your soul, there is nothing left for you to live for. There is no you.

It made me think of C.S. Lewis’s quote:

“We don’t have a soul. We are a soul. We happen to have a body.”

Instantly, I felt like my soul was slipping out of me. Myself was being drained from my body. My “self”—the self that is me. My identity. Me was leaving me. I was being drained and replaced with something all the more different.

Automatically, I knew what it was.

The hilarious irony of this grand story is the fact that Harry Potter was the dementor sucking the soul out of me. All I wanted to do was go to Hogwarts. I wore my Gryffindor scarf on cold days, I talked about Harry Potter at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I dreamt every night about being in a class with Snape or McGonnagal. It was horrifying.

After returning home, things began to change. Harry made me feel strange, and after asking Google a few questions about J.K. Rowling and such, I found my patronus! I decided that it was time for me to bid farewell to the world of Hogwarts. I got a bag and filled it with all my HP stuff. As sad as I was to see it all go, if this—this temporal, draining, sad stuff—was going to get in the way between me and Jesus, it had to go. I wanted my joy back. I did not want dementors sucking my identity out of me and filling it with nothing but empty stuff that’s all going to burn in the end.

I have missed Harry and friends a great deal. Ironically, we taught each other some great lessons, but in the end, I think I owe Harry both a hug for showing me the source of my bondage, and a smack on the nose (which would ultimately crack his circular glasses) for giving me such bondage.

After I closed the lid on our monstrous, green and very plastic garbage can, I felt like the sun was shining through those clouds and my heart started singing again. I felt like laughing, crying, singing, and dancing for joy. There was nothing that could take God’s love away from me. Nothing can ever steal my joy again, because I will not let it. Hogwarts failed to, and so will everything else. I started thinking.

I feel like the whole world is living in such a bondage. They’ve all got dementors hot on their trail, following them everywhere, and sucking people’s selves out of their bodies. Everyone has all got something that drains their joy, their energy, their vivacity for life, and in the end, their entire self has been murdered and is replaced with a horrific, lifeless figure who has no cause to live in the world.

I have started using the internet a little bit more for school, and some of the articles I get for my research projects are devastating. Sexual abuse is the media’s hot topic, pornography is ruining marriages (but is considered constitutional), the divorce rate is immensely high, North Korea wants to blow us up, racial tension divides our country, and millions of people are so tangled up in their strings that they do not know who to get out. They’ve all got dementors, and they do not know how to shoo them away.

They need the patronus of Jesus Christ.

Just speaking the name of Jesus Christ is even more powerful than “expecto patronum,” because it not only frightens away our dementors (like Harry’s patronus), but it destroys them, obliterates them, and reminds them that the devil is already defeated.

So, instead of listening to the Hermoine’s who tell you you’re only going to mess things up, go out there and yell the name of your Savior, your God, your King: Jesus Christ. Because you will save the day, you will bring light to others, and you will deliver yourself from bondage and freedom! So, I challenge you today, my lovely friends, to stand up and put off your bondage. Throw it off. Do not let it rule you anymore. You have so much to live for, and so much God has planned for you. Do not let a little dementor suck you dry just because you’re afraid to let it go. Ask God for that strength and courage to let go.

Maybe Harry and I will catch up one day, but I do not think that’ll happen. Besides, I kind of LOVE living my life dementor-free.

I love you, all!

Auf Wiedersehen,

Emily 🙂

P.S. Speak the words of Christ and speak your freedom with the power and authority that you have. Take Harry for example. For the love of gifs…

Expecto Patronum 😉

P.P.S. I have started work on my Rey costume for STAR WARS VIII! Yahoo! I am so excited. I made a few tweaks to my original design, but it is still going to be awesome. I will keep you all posted on it (once I get some nice pictures), and I’m going to work on it today after I finish waking up…even though it’s 2:00. heehee 😉

I’ll keep you updated on my German skills 😛

Advertisements

Lessons in Writing Hinduism Papers, Reading Harry Potter, and Eating Happy Food

“One book had a dark stain on it that looked horribly like blood. The hairs on the back of Harry’s neck prickled. Maybe he was imagining it, maybe not, but he thought a faint whispering was coming from the books, as though they knew someone was there who shouldn’t be.

He had to start somewhere. Setting the lamp down carefully on the floor, he looked along the bottom shelf for an interesting-looking book. A large black and silver volume caught his eye. He pulled it out with difficulty, because it was very heavy, and balancing it on his knee, let it fall open.

A piercing blood-curdling shriek split the silence – the book was screaming! Harry snapped it shut, but the shriek went on and on, one high, unbroken, earsplitting note. He stumbled and knocked over his lamp, which went out at once.”

– From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, chapter twelve, The Mirror of Erised


My desk while working on school – thanks for the donut mug, Tina!

“…compare and contrast your selected worldview (Secular Humanism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam) with the biblical worldview.”

Such was the prompt that drove me up the wall all weekend as I struggled to write a paper about the similarities and differences of Hinduism and Christianity.

I received the email from my professor on Tuesday announcing the dreaded monster that we ourselves had to create and submit by the end of the week (Today @ 11:59 pm EST). A few things that set me apart from the average college class student are as follows:

  • I am only fifteen and am still in High School
  • I love writing papers
  • I have an extremely organized and OCD note taking system

Thus, when reviewing the second bullet point—my loving papers—it can be assumed that I jumped at the chance to write this paper. You would assume rightly, for I was literally dancing with excitement at the news of a research paper—and on a religion (“of all the interesting topics”)!

I have always had a “thing” for Hinduism and eastern archaeology and religions since I was really little. I loved Indiana Jones (when I wanted to) as a little girl. Honestly, I wanted to go live in Egypt, wear a turban, become an archaeologist, and maybe dig up the Ark of the Covenant.

Ahem.

Considering that, it is obviously pretty plain to see why I chose the religion I did: Hinduism. I had always found eastern religion and things like that very interesting. Interesting, but not intriguing.

Anyway, skipping merrily to my computer, I logged on to my library’s website and reserved some books on Critical Thinking and Hinduism. I started thinking about the sources we had used in my class on the mystic subject. There were not very many meaty ones, so I knew that library books and a few books from my world religion unit last year would be helpful.

On Saturday my books were ready. Running errands for the coming week, my parents and my siblings stopped by the library on their way home.

Drrrrrr…the garage roared as it opened lazily, chugging and squeaking against the rusty tracks. I knew they were home, and I was ready to begin taking notes and composing a beautiful piece of writing! I sped down the stairs, thumping and stomping my way down. In the garage, my family met me with an armful of books. A big fat one had to be at least one thousand whole pages. The Norton Anthology of World Religions was, actually, over two thousand pages—and to my amazement, I learned it was only the first volume of three! I grabbed the books hungrily and sped back up to my room as quickly as I had come down. I laid all the books – three total – on my desk and opened them up.


“So…how are you doing?”

I think my head was about to explode when Mom popped in to check on me. I had been in my room for about three hours or so, working out my first paragraph: the origins of the world.

I wanted to say “not good,” but thought it would be pessimistic.

I was finding Hinduism to be a little less fascinating than I thought it would be. From the stories of incestuous creation possibilities, to the myths of Krishna, Durga and the buffalo demon, I was disgusted and mentally disturbed by the doctrines of Hinduism. The seductive goddesses and maidens, the lusty men and their partners, the goddess Kali who eats little children, and Brahma with his four-faced head. As for Kali’s husband, Shiva, let’s just say he lives up to his name as “Shiva the ‘Destroyer.'” I was desperately overwhelmed and in need of a good faint.

Exhibit A:

After finishing one beautifully written paragraph about Hinduism’s world origin beliefs, I took a bike ride alongside the river of my beautiful city. Fresh air felt nice. The leaves have turned yellow, orange, and deep red. The gentle breeze ruffled my hair and autumnal colored leaves skirted, flitted, and danced along the path with me. Fall felt nice.

The next day, I was ready to tackle the grueling task of writing four more paragraphs about Hindu doctrines: morality, death, identity, and purpose. I was practically hyperventilating. “Okay, here we go.”

I cried out to God during my shower, practically begging Him to give me the words to speak so I could finish this paper that was just as monstrous as the Hindu gods.


Click clack…click…tap tap tap.

Ah. The last period was placed. The last words were typed. I fell back on my chair and sighed in relief. I’m done! Every last bit of that paper is done. It’s all over. No more!

Elation. That is truly the only word that can describe my state after finishing the paper. Complete vivacious elation. Totally exuberant.

I glanced at my room.

It was a complete and total mess, so upon my deciding to clean it, I pulled out my radio and listened to my next chapter of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Audio.

I found myself on the twelfth chapter, The Mirror of Erised. In the chapter, Harry receives a cloak of invisibility from an anonymous giver at Christmas, and uses it to sneak around Hogwarts at night to the restricted section in the library. The books about Dark Magic were kept in the restricted section, and Harry was determined to look in them for the sake of curiosity and other reasons I will not discuss (no spoilers here). After opening up one of the books, there was a loud scream that split the silence. It turned out that the book was the one screaming! He shut the book and ran out of the library.

I thought it was rather funny how Harry had the same experience I had with books and libraries. Although I did not sneak around doing what I was not allowed to, I did stumble on some books that screamed at me and made me want to cover my eyes and ears at their heinous content. Between me and Harry, he was at a disadvantage: he had no one to run to.

But I did.

After feeling dirty, tainted, and disgusted at the research I had conducted on Hinduism, I ran to my Father God and my Creator. I was ashamed to do so. I had been researching other gods and immoral literature! How could I approach God that way? I will be honest. I still feel gross and dirty at the doctrines I wrote about. There was so much sin and immorality that the Holy Spirit grieved within me and I felt like running into a hole and hiding forever.

 “Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.”

– Psalm 33:22, NLT

Graciously, the love of our God is unfailing. Just like the prodigal son, he came running to meet me when I was scared half to death over Kali’s bloody tongue. The gods of this world are like an ant inside of Jesus Christ’s big shadow. Even though I despaired over what I learned, it showed me just how wonderful and sovereign the one and only true God is. With all the power He has, He could do anything, and it would be alright. Instead, He shows us unfailing love and hope. And He’s always there with His arms open wide; ready to run out and meet us.

Luckily, after realizing all this, Mom had a steaming, satisfying, and comforting bowl of chicken tortilla soup ready with chips and a little cheese ready for me to devour. I slurped rather loudly.

It just proves to show you: sometimes God shows us His truths, love, and mercy when we write Hinduism papers, read Harry Potter, and eat happy food.

Cheers!

Hasta la vista,

Emily 🙂

P.S. Quick cosplay update!

I made my model for my Rey Last Jedi costume! Here ’tis!!!

I am so excited for the Last Jedi!! Did anyone else think it was weird seeing Phasma again? I did. I need to seriously get some second opinion. If you guys have any ideas, seriously shout it out. So weird. I thought they threw her in the trash compactor??

(Photo by 7831/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Also, I did not actually have time to make a costume for October 31st this year, so I bought a costume off CosplaySky. Yes, I did. While we are on the topic of Harry Potter, I decided to go as Hermoine Granger this year. I love Emma Watson 😛 ! I started reading the Harry Potter books over the summer, and Hermoine was like my alias at Hogwarts. I am such a policeman. I am really excited for this year’s costume stories, so stay tuned! Rey is going to be really awesome, too! I am so excited for The Last Jedi!!! Also, there is a horse at the barn named Star I have been riding lately, and he wants to be Harry Potter. Harry and Hermoine FTW at the barn’s costume contest! Wahoo! I will fill y’all in on it soon!

Auf Wiedersehen!

Emily

Why do some weirdos spell Auf Wiedersehen as one word? I shall never know.