Some of my favorites parts in the Harry Potter series have involved the interpersonal conflict among Harry and his friends. J.K. Rowling does a tremendous job capturing the drama, emotions and uncertainty of adolescent amorousness. I’m still enjoying The Half-Blood Prince and know that things will really start picking up as I’ve past the halfway point of the book.
Below are some thoughts from chapters 13-18 of The Half-Blood Prince.
Orphans and Widows
One of the most challenging verses in the Bible comes from the first chapter of James.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
I know a lot of Christians, myself included, who do their best to keep from being polluted by the world. Unfortunately a lot of Christians, myself included, don’t put any effort into helping orphans or widows. Voldemort started his life as an orphan and grew up in a stark orphanage. Who knows, if someone had been willing to love and care for Tom Riddle, perhaps he wouldn’t have grown into the Dark Lord. The call to care for orphans and widows is clear; how to accomplish that feat, though, isn’t as clear. It starts with just being aware that there are people in need and doing what we can to help. It could be as simple as praying for all those in need or sponsoring a World Vision child. If we refuse to help an orphan we won’t create the next Voldemort, but we will be ignoring God’s heart.
I love the trick Harry pulls on Ron: tricking Ron into thinking he drank Felix Felicis, the good luck potion. Ron just needed an extra kick to believe in himself and raise his confidence. With that added confidence, Ron was able play his best game of Quidditch ever. Confidence is a great thing; it helps us believe we can accomplish the plans laid before us. It’s important, though, to remember that our confidence doesn’t lie in ourselves but in Christ. It’s because of what Christ has done and is doing that we can be confident. On my own I am a selfish nerd who would rather sit at home by himself than engage with people and direct them towards Jesus. With Christ, though, I am confident that my life has purpose and serving others in ministry not only helps me be selfless but also impacts the lives of others. We can’t be like the Emperor whose overconfidence was his weakness, but we can’t be like Ron either, whose lack of confidence kept him from being effective. With Jesus as our confidence, we can find the right balance be who we were called to be.
I’ve asked my readers to keep any comments about Harry Potter spoiler-free. I haven’t read any of the books nor seen any of the movies. I really don’t have any idea what happens in the story except for a few things. When The Deathly Hallows first came out, I remember reading a little bit about the epilogue. I don’t know what happens between Harry and Voldemort or how things eventually shake out for the wizarding world. Actually, I really only know one thing; let’s just say that if Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione were on Facebook I know what their relational statuses would say. Armed with that knowledge, it was fun to see those four interacting in these chapters, going back and forth with their feelings and each other. Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione had no idea where their futures would lead which, looking back, makes their presents seem somewhat laughable. We also have no idea where our futures will lead but there’s a good chance, somewhere down the road, we’ll look back on our current seasons of life and chuckle. Current trials may seem big but, over time, they become the seasons that shape us.
Harry Potter is great because Rowling takes time to develop her characters and their relationships. Sure, I’d love to see how the final battle eventually plays out, but I know I’ll care more about that final battle and its consequences because I’m invested in its participants.
What thoughts do you have from chapters 13-18 of The Half-Blood Prince?