Tag Archive | joy

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 😛

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All God’s Children

Dear Friends,

Since May 18th, 2017, I have been absent from this blog. I have constantly reminded myself to “get around to blogging.” I could just never seem to have the time to sit down and write like I had so longed for.

However, three days ago, I received an email from my Gospel for Asia blog team with a new blogging assignment, and this morning the Lord came a-knocking on my heart. He reminded me of all of you readers, of the countless precious souls of Asia, and the length of my hiatus. Basically and simply, He told me I could not get away with it this time. The hounding was hard – the disobedience would be transgression. Thus, today, at 10:25 p.m., I have come to tell you a story. A true story. Frankly, I think true stories are the best. It is the story of a drunkard, a widow and her son, and the peace they found.


The man cackled and nearly collapsed in drunken stupor. His mother watched him helplessly. She knew it was her doing. She had often encouraged drinking and enjoyed a few drinks with her son, Sahdev, but she, Vahini, never imagined consequences this horrendous. The old woman pitied her alcoholic son, who spent all he had on the poisonous liquid.

Vahini knew she was obligated to put an end to Sahdev’s alcoholic rages, drunken shame, and endless addiction. When an idea finally lit up her mind like fire crackers on a moonlight night, she set right to work seeing it through: her son must have a wife. Surely a wife would force him to put aside his useless and ridiculous past time! Yes, a wife must be the answer. Maliciously concealing her Sahdev’s treacherous addiction, Vahini found a young woman named Tanu who, blind to the truth, married Sahdev.

However, much to Vahini’s horror, Sahdev became a violent man, abused his new wife, and his drinking did not cease as hoped. Instead of defending the helpless bride, Vahini sided with her son and watched in silence as he beat her daily. In the midst of this desolation, Tanu became pregnant. When Tanu gave birth to a son, Aakar, her husband died of alcohol poisoning two months later.

Free of her chains, Tanu hoped to live in precious peace, but no peace came. Vahini became the villain of our story and mercilessly blamed Tanu for the death of her son. Tanu, afraid for her child and her life, resisted and begged to remain in Vahini’s home, yet in response to her helpless plea, she was beaten for simply asking for help. Fleeing desperately, Tanu returned to her mother and father’s home: in the slums (pictured left – photo credit: http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com). Graciously welcoming their daughter and grandson, Tanu’s parents brought a smile to Tanu’s weary face.

Due to India’s cruel and unfair “caste system,” Tanu and her family were classified as “dalit” or “untouchables.” Essentially cursed by their fellow man, it was difficult for Tanu to find a job to help support her family. Acting as any kind-hearted father would towards his little girl, Tanu’s father, Chandrakiran worked as a daily wage laborer, a job someone of his social caste is confined to.

When Aakar became old enough to go to school, Tanu and her parents simply could not pull enough money together to give the child a proper education. Even when enrolling Aakar into free public school, the cost of the supplies crippled their finances. Heartbroken for her little boy, Tanu was desperate.

Seeing one of her neighbors sending her children to school one day, Tanu demanded to know how they managed the costs. The neighbor explained that her children attend Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope Sponsorship program. Feeling a wave of relief for the first time in many days, Tanu enrolled Aakar in the program in June, 2013. For the first time, Aakar received a birthday gift, school supplies, and an education of which many children his age of dreamed (from my resource I learned only forty percent of all people in India can read). Tanu and Aakar (pictured right – photo credit: Gospel for Asia Blog Team) continually receive God’s love, compassion, and redemption everyday from the Bridge of Hope Program. Tanu says that she has the biggest hopes in the world for her son. She believes he will grow to be a kind man who loves others more than himself and will choose a different path than his father, Sadhev. “I can see that my child is improving in his studies and learning good habits through the Bridge of Hope center. I only wish that my child will grow up [to be] a good companion and never ever become addicted to alcohol or any kind of bad habits,” said Tanu after she enrolled her precious son. 

The courage of a mother determined to fight for her son and for her life, the acceptance and love of grandparents who had a heart to give the willingness of sponsor in a different land who brought joy into the life of this beautiful child, and the love and care of our Lord Jesus who never lets go, gave this story a happy ending.  


“But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

– Luke 18:16


I look at the world around me. It chills my bones. It breaks my heart. It makes the hair on the back of my neck prick up.

Then I look at a child. I see the little girl: ribbons in her hair, pigtails flying, and her cheeky grin making her eyes disappear beneath the ear to ear glee. I see the little boy: laughing at a joke that was not even funny, climbing to the top of the playground, and yelling for all to hear. I see the infant giggle for the first time. The gloom in my heart scatters. I see the little girl beg me to come to her tea party. The despair fades. I see the little boy ramming his truck into your shin. The depressing reverie turns to abundant laughter.

When Jesus told the world that the kingdom of God belongs to the children, He told us that the kingdom of God is full of laughter, light, innocence, joy. It is seething with belief, trust, and dependence.

The kingdom of God does not belong to the adolescent or the adult. The kingdom of God is not full of worry, concern, depression, cynicism and independence.

It belongs to the children.

Children like Aakar who need the love and care God designed them to receive.

 I believe that God created children to be bundles of joy that would even out the worry and concern of two grown people.

The children of the world, the beautiful children of the world need us.

Joshie

The little smiles of the world need us.

John John

The minds who believe they can do anything need us.

Tanu and Aakar as a young child

The ones who make us smile and forget everything during tragedy need us.

I love you, Baby D!

The ones who laugh at the simplest things need us.

And from the arguments I just raised, I would say that we need them just as much.

Maybe even more so.

To all the children of the world,

Emily 🙂 – signing off

P.S. You can help a little one in need by sponsoring a child, donating to crisis funds, or whatever means you may feel God is calling you to give via one of the following organizations (these are ones I know of) and many more around the world:

Compassion International

Holt International

Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope

Samaritan’s Purse

P.P.S. I promise that by the end of this week I will hopefully have a post regarding my absence since the beginning of May and the lessons I’ve learned. I hate leaving everyone hanging for two months. I will talk to you soon! Sending you much love 🙂