I made a shawl as a companion piece to the Chosen One essay. I only have a camera-phone camera right now, and I'm still learning how to get decent pictures out of it. Here are the best shots I've got for now:
I wrote this essay because I was given the challenge to compare and contrast an element from the Harry Potter story with another story that I loved. The redemption theme in literature is one of my favorite things to look for, so the original story of God's redemption of man was the first thing to come to mind.
Once upon a time, a boy was born into a world filled with evil. He grew up among people who didn’t understand him, and who disapproved of him because he was different from them. He was the Chosen One, the only one who could rid the world of the evil that plagued it.
And when the time came for him to face the evil one, he realized that the only way he could save the world forever was not merely to kill the evil one, but that he would have to die as well. He would have to offer himself as a willing victim, a sacrifice. Only then would the power of the evil one over those he loved be broken. And so the Chosen One bravely went, not to kill, but to die.
The evil one took his chance. He slew the Chosen One, and with shouts of victory and derision, displayed his triumph to the people.
Those who loved him, who needed him, watched in despair. He was the Chosen One. He was the only one who could save them. And now, he was dead. All hope was lost. But even in the face of certain defeat, they would not surrender to the evil one. Confused, crushed, and despondent, they mourned.
The evil one had his moment. In wicked glee, he celebrated over his vanquished foe.
And then, the Chosen One conquered death itself. He came back to his people, alive and strong. He had broken the evil one’s power over them forever, and now it was time to defeat the evil one himself. With fear in his heart, the evil one tried again to fight, but this time he was doomed to fail. The Chosen One prevailed, and evil was crushed forever. The sun rose over a world renewed in hope.
All was well.
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Cor. 15.26
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Cor. 15.54
The Chosen One is Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. He is Aslan, the Son of the Great Emperor beyond the Sea. He is Frodo, the Ring-Bearer. He is King Arthur, or Neo, or Taran Wanderer, or Anakin Skywalker. He lives in a hundred incarnations of brave knights, stalwart adventurers, and charming princes.
This story is threaded throughout our human cultures and experiences because it was written before the world began. In eternity past, God the Father planned this story in its truest form – the redemption of mankind through Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the Chosen One, the Son of God.
Jesus died to break the power of evil over the people he loved. He rose from the dead, proving he had succeeded.
But unlike most of the fictional heroes, who made their sacrifices with the support of beloved family or loyal friends, Jesus suffered alone, forsaken even by God.
And through his sacrifice, he has rescued all who believe in him from the power of sin and secured a promised eternity with him.
Many of you know this part of my story. I wrote that almost a year ago. I was overwhelmed by the responses I received – support, encouragement, stories of how God used my words to help others. I thought I was settled, I’d found God’s peace, and nothing could change that.
Less than two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. And five days after that, I lost my baby.
My heart shattered. I grieved hard, and I waited. I longed for the peace I’d felt before. I struggled through my days, waiting for things to get better. I trusted that if God worked that miracle once, he could work it again. At the beginning of the summer, my cat died. At the end of the summer, my husband and I lost our jobs. And I didn’t get pregnant.
God provided for us. We started new jobs, got a new cat, adjusting slowly to the changes. I started writing some. I cried a lot. I tried hard to enjoy my life and my Savior.
In November, I had some good talks with a close friend, and I stumbled on Ann Voskamp’s blog. (I'm still reading her book, One Thousand Gifts). I started counting God's gifts to me. (so many!) The Lord used the words of Psalm 27 to plant new hope in my heart:
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
I started to understand that everything was good, everything was grace. Not just the beautiful things. Not even especially the beautiful things. I’m starting to see the vital necessity of giving thanks not only in baffling, ugly, agonizing circumstances, but for them. I’m thankful for this year. I’m thankful for the bringing low. I’m thankful for the pain that brings me again and again to the feet of the Savior. I’m thankful for my precious baby's soul in heaven. I’m thankful for God’s intense compassion (Ps 56:8)
Through all this time, God has been gradually healing my heart in his daily deluge of grace, renewing my confidence in his perfect love, his awesome sovereignty, my safety in the palm of his hand. I have no tidy ending to this story – it continues to unfold each day. But I can say with absolute confidence that God is always good. I am learning again – and I’m sure not for the last time – to savor the grace with which he fills every moment.
I’ve said a lot of things when people have asked. I'm not ready right now... I'm just taking some time... But honestly, the real reason is just that I’m afraid.
I’m afraid that my writing a blog is selfish, and that you will see more of me than Christ, and that the 'me' you will see is ugly. I'm afraid I'll waste your time. (That’s kind of the big one.)
I’m afraid that my life is not eventful enough, and that I don’t have enough vision, plan, or motivation to be at all consistent. Or interesting. Or helpful. (This is also pretty huge.)
I’m afraid that I want to do this for all the wrong reasons.
I’m afraid that I might not really want to do this at all.
I’m afraid of being vulnerable, and afraid that the line between vulnerability and selfish exhibition is too blurry.
I think that’s all. Oh, and one more: I’m afraid that all of the things I’ve listed as problems are true about this post as well.
But God is doing big things in my life, filling it with his gifts. And I want to share them, to be vulnerable, and to feel myself more a part of the sweet community of God’s family. So I’m going to be brave, admit I don’t have all the answers, and post this (and hopefully more) anyway.
Have you every asked yourself these questions? How do you deal with these kinds of fears?