Monthly Archives: July 2011

Three Degrees of Harry Potter Fanhood

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What degree of fanhood are you?

This time last night, I was walking into the movie theater not knowing what to expect out of a Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 2 movie premiere. The friends I was with were dressed up in graduation robes, scarves, sweaters, hats, ties and were carrying their wands ready and waiting to see the conclusion of the series of books we grew up on.

I decided not to dress up. No, I wasn’t into it that much. Yes, I like Harry Potter, but I didn’t want to dress up. I opted for being a muggle instead. After I stepped into the movie theater, I sorta wished I dressed up. I was definitely the minority in my plain clothes.

However, I wasn’t the only one not dressed up, and it was then I realized that were several degrees of Harry Potter fanhood represented in the mobs of crowds waiting to get into the 12:05 showing.

The movie fan

The average movie goer

Somehow, I wonder if this girl even knew what she was getting herself into as she munched on her popcorn waiting in a two hour line. Did she not see all of the people around her with their Harry Potter World wands and other paraphernalia?

Nonetheless, I did see a few of her kind last night at the theater as I people watched. As I stood, I realized there were actually several casual fans in the crowd. Perhaps, those who read maybe half of the books  and stopped because the movies started. They probably didn’t really care who died or who lived. They were just there solely for the movie to see how the series ended. Casual fans were not going to cry during the movie and had no idea the depth of the series. Newsflash to the casual fan, you should have read the books.

The true fan

Making Harry Potter your own

Last night as I was waiting for awhile, I noticed these two girls walk through the door. Then I looked around. No one else was dressed like them. I walked up to them and started a conversation, and I told them I hadn’t seen anyone else dress up like them. They said they wanted to make it their own, and they made shirts, bandannas, and sweat pants for the occasion.

I would say they are embarking on the territory of true fanhood. They have probably read all the books. Not more than twice probably. They know the story line, and they followed the movies. They like Harry Potter and know one or two simple spells. This is probably their second midnight movie premiere. They are just true fans through and through.

The die hard/obsessed fan

She was brave enough to dress up like this character. Do you know who she is?

This is the group of people I went with to the movie theater last night. They took the graduation robes we wore only in May, and it was a difficult decision for some on whether they wanted to apart of Dumbledore’s army or receive a dark mark.

In fact, one of the people I went with drew dark marks on several other die hard fans while we were waiting in our seats for the movie to start.

The die hard fan won’t admit to being obsessed; they deny it. They have read all of the books at least five times, watched all the other seven movies at least twice, and listened to The Very Potter Musical soundtrack or have seen it online.

They know everything about Harry Potter, and they possessed high expectations for the movie. A tear might have escaped down their cheeks as they knew what was coming, and they were sad to see the series.

If it was up to them, they would board the Hogwarts Express and casts spells if they could. They know all the spells. In fact last night, two people from the theater I was sitting in started doing a spell battle before the movie started. It wasn’t real of course, but they did so all the same. The girl from group who was fighting in the battle ended up wining.

But whether or not you are die hard and wish the series could keep on living or the casual fan just wanting to know how it ends, J.K. Rowling’s series created one of the best series of books ever written, and I myself hate to see that it is over.

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The ultimate anchor

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And it goes on and on and on and on...

I’ve got my toes in the water and toes in the sand and all I am lacking is a cold Sun Drop in my hand. I am at one of my favorite places in the world: the beach. However, every time I come, I always think about how big God really is.

The last time I was at the beach, my grandmother passed away back home, so I didn’t get a whole lot of just sitting and thinking time. This time, though, I will get several days to sit back and just think.

I am not sure what it is that causes me to be able to sit and stare blankly at something for just so long. I can sit and watch the ocean for hours until the sound of the waves becomes one big lullaby and gently puts me to sleep.

The ocean is my optimal thinking spot as I watch other people and let me toes sink deep down in the sand. I especially love watching the sun set and come up above across the horizon. It’s almost hypnotizing. But nonetheless, some of my best ideas of things have come from sitting and staring at the ocean. But as I sit, I usually think about how big the ocean is.

It goes on and on and on and on. It doesn’t stop for thousands of miles. It’s just so vast. Too vast for me to sometimes even comprehend. And you know, that’s how God feels sometimes. Too big to even fathom or imagine.

I read this book today for four hours straight on the way here. It’s called Christian Atheist. I bet you are thinking that’s a contradictory sort of title. But it is not completely. The books goes into grave detail about how we believe God is really there, yet we live our lives as though He doesn’t even exist.

Yeah. It’s a big thought to chew on, and it is going to take me awhile to absorb all that the book talks about. It does hit a lot of high notes though as it talks about our prayer life and what we level of a relationship we have with God.

The sun is finally setting at the beach now and the sky looks like shreds of cotton candy have sprinkled across it. And as the day draws to a close, I have come to realize something that for me is just as big as the ocean.

God doesn’t have to be fair. He is just.  God doesn’t have to always be understood. I’ve just got to learn to roll with it.  God is bigger than anything I could ever imagine. Bigger than the ocean of course.  God is my best friend. Yeah, the creator of the universe takes the time to love me out of all the other six billion people on this planet just like  He takes the time to love you too.

For months now, it seems like I am sort of out in the ocean being tossed around by the waves. Nothing really feels secure, and I perfectly aware everything in my life is about to change. In fact it is already is.

I realized though God will always be my anchor even when I live like He’s not there. He will always throw me a life preserver even when I don’t think I need it or I am strong enough to handle it all by my little big girl self. The book I read talked a lot about trust.

I rarely trust people here on earth, and yet  I still find trouble trusting the one entity that loves me more than anything. Before the craziness of my life begins again, I think I am going to grab onto that life preserver. Floating in the ocean just waiting for the waves to hit isn’t quite fun. I need to cling to an anchor, and who better to cling to that ultimate anchor of all.

Mya and Memphis

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Isaiah 58:12

When seven-year old Mya told me she didn’t care anything about her eighth birthday, I knew I had to change that. Any soon to be eight year old shouldn’t be that sad on her birthday.

For the past six days, I’ve found myself walking the steaming hot streets of Memphis, Tenn., knocking on doors and picking up kids for Bible club each day with Street Reach Ministries. To say this was an experience is an understatement.

Technically, I was in the “ghetto” of Memphis. I saw everything from shattered glass to shattered hearted kids on Mayflower Avenue. That’s the street I was assigned to pick up kids every day.

That’s exactly where I found Mya in a small, white vinyl house. The other girls I was walking up with knocked on the door. A dog I soon later found out was named Molly attacked the door with a thud scratching her way to get out. She didn’t know what to think of strangers.

Only a short few minutes later, I saw my blond haired, blue eyed Mya creep out the door. Her hair was tangled and she looked up at me with sad eyes.

Her other two friends bounded out with her, yet they didn’t look as sad as her. They walked along talking to us about ten year old things.  We soon got introductions out of the way, and we eventually knocked on all the doors of the other kids we were supposed to pick up.

As we arrived at our site, I was holding Mya’s hand, and I had her God sister, McKynsie on my back. We went throughout our daily activities of Bible club, and it was time to walk the kids home.

Mya’s house was our last stop since my group picked them up first. I held Mya’s hand on the way back too. She wasn’t feeling too good in the Memphis heat. And I am not going to lie, it was scorching weather.

She got tired of walking, so I lifted her on my already sweat drenched back. She didn’t care though. She was just glad someone was carrying her. As we walked, we talked. She told me her birthday was Thursday.

“Are you excited?” I asked. I was trying to sound enthusiastic. She had to be happy, or so I thought.

“Why would I care about my birthday,” she said. “I’ve already had seven of them. What’s one more mean?”

I couldn’t see her eyes or her facial expression. She was on my back doing the whole piggy-back ride deal. But, I felt my heart drop. What soon to be eight year old doesn’t get joy out of a day that’s supposed to be all about her?

I dropped her off at her house along with McKynsie and her other friend Danyel.  End of conversation. I walked back on looking down at the cracked pavement wishing there was something I could do. Then the duh moment struck. Of course, I could do something for her. Or at least something little.

I told my friend Lauren my idea, and on Wednesday night, we got Mya something little along with McKynsie since her birthday is actually tomorrow.

On that Thursday, I made sure to go to her house first on our pick-up route. When I knocked on the door this time, Molly bounded out and licked us. Turns out she was a friendly dog after all.

Everyone else came out of the house except for Mya. Her brother Joe, her god brother TJ, Danyel, McKynsie. Everyone else except for her. But finally after what seemed like a small eternity, she slipped on her small pink flip-flops and pushed open the door.

Happy Birthday Mya

As it screeched behind her, I pulled out my little contribution to her eight year old birthday. It was a small, plush penguin with huge blue eyes. When I told her happy birthday and that I loved her, her face lit up. She showed her mom, and she finally smiled a genuine smile with all her teeth showing. It was the first time I had seen her glowing with joy the entire week.

That same day while we were at Bible club, she thanked me for making her birthday so special. She hadn’t gotten any other gifts yet that day, and I hope she did eventually get more gifts that afternoon.

I didn’t see Mya today. Thursday was the last day I got to see her. I had the pleasure of coming in contact with so many kids this past week. Kids who have a rough life and just need someone to show them what loving others looks like.

I hope I was able to show Mya love even through a small plush penguin and all the piggy-back rides the girl could ever want. The way I see it, God had me there for a reason. I am pretty sure it was for Mya and her eighth birthday.  I am just glad I didn’t miss my purpose, and that God penciled me in for one of His divine appointments.