The enemy’s grasp was tightening. More and more people were being forced out of their homes, forced into hiding, or forcefully kidnapped simply because they were not “pure” enough. The instigator of these troubles was himself not “pure” by his standards, but why let those under him know about that when he could instill fear and panic in a whole country and take over as its leader?
Every day, more and more innocent people fell prey to the enemy’s schemes. Every day more people wound up dead. Every day more people were labelled as missing. Every day more people lived in terror.
But there were some who knew of the enemy’s scheme. Some knew where the terror originated from. Those born with an aptitude for magic were well aware of the Dark Lord’s plot, even though the Muggles (those with no magical powers) remained “ignorant of the source of their suffering.”
However, despite this, and despite the growing terror, a voice rang out over a private–“rebellious”–radio broadcast one day:
“We continue to hear truly inspirational stories of wizards and witches risking their own safety to protect Muggle friends and neighbors, often without the Muggles’ knowledge. I’d like to appeal to all our listeners to emulate their example, perhaps by casting a protective charm over any Muggle dwellings in your street. Many lives could be saved if such simple measures are taken.”
“And what would you say, Royal, to those listeners who reply that in these dangerous times, it should be ‘Wizards first’?” asked Lee.
“I’d say that it’s one short step from ‘Wizards first’ to ‘Purebloods first,’ and then to ‘Death Eaters,'” replied Kingsley. “We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
(J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [New York, NY: Scholastic, 2007], 440.)
(This is not the time to get into the discussion of whether or not Christians are allowed to read Harry Potter. Perhaps, i will address that question in a post after i read the last 313 pages of the series.)
As a writer, i must be a reader, and as a writer of fiction, i must be a reader of fiction. However, i thoroughly appreciate it when (in reading fiction) i can make a clear connection to Christianity out of it. That’s what we have in the quoted portion above.
Your friends and neighbors are unaware, but they have an enemy dwelling in their backyard. Actually, more than their backyard, they have an enemy dwelling in their house. Actually, even more than their house, they have an enemy dwelling inside them. This enemy makes even Voldemort look like a child in comparison. This enemy is sin.
Sin brings death. In reality, your unbelieving neighbors are probably afraid of dying. And in all likelihood, they do not know why they are afraid of dying. However, as a believer, you can help them to know why they are afraid of death.
You can teach them that death is the result of sin.
You can tell them that sin was not a part of the world when God pronounced it “Very good” (Genesis 1:31).
You can tell them about Jesus, the one who became sin so that we could be freed from sin’s curse.
But before doing any of that, there is something else that we must do. We must pray for our neighbors. In Rowling’s fictional world, nothing is more powerful than casting a spell. In the real world, nothing is more powerful than praying to God.
We must pray to Him on our neighbors’ behalves.
We must pray to Him that they would be open to the Gospel
We must pray that we would be shining witnesses for Jesus to them.
If we refuse to pray for our neighbors, we are subtly saying that we are better than them. This must not be the case. As Kingsley Shacklebolt–codename: Royal–said, “Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” If we are not praying for our neighbors, we aren’t doing our part to see them saved.
Soli Deo Gloria