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!
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!
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…
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 😛