Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
But Christ begins to whisper in the Deathly Hallows. A few pages before the flashback of the Potters' death, Harry and his friends visit the last resting place of Lily and James Potter, in the church graveyard in Godric's Hallow, on Christmas Eve.
First they see the grave of Kendra and Ariana Dumbledore, the mother and sister of the late Hogwarts headmaster. It bears this inscription: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (None of the characters seems to know that these words are from Matthew 6:21.)
Not far away is the Potters' tomb, with a different inscription: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." The quotation is from 1 Corinthians 15: 26, part of a long passage about the resurrection. In Godric's Hollow, Rowling begins to reveal that, like Narnia, her world has a "deeper magic." Love, expressed as substitutionary sacrificechoosing to lay down your life for your friendshas a power that Lord Voldemort, like the White Witch before him, is blind to. That blindness becomes his undoingwith the help of Harry and his friends.
When C.S. Lewis started out to write The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he didn't have Christianity in mind. "Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something abut Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tales as an instrument, then collect information about child psychology and decided what age group I'd write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out 'allegories' to embody them," Lewis once wrote. "This is all pure moonshine. I couldn't write in that way at all."
"Everything began with images," Lewis continued. "A faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sled, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn't anything Christian about them. That element pushed itself in of its own accord."
Something similar seems to have happened to J.K. Rowling. She began writing about wizards and quidditch and Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, and somewhere along the way, Christ began to whisper into the story.
And the whole world was listening.
Bob Smietana is features editor of the Covenant Companion and the co-author of GP Taylor: Sin, Salvation, and Shadowmancer.
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