Thursday, July 14, 2011

God and Harry Potter: the Invisibility Cloak

OK, I'll admit it right off the bat: I am so excited about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 coming out tonight! I've got Potter on the brain. :o)

A Catholic writer over at The World is My Cloister caught my attention this week with a post about an icon of Abraham and Sarai welcoming an angel. My minor in undergrad was in art history, so I loved her analysis of the shapes in the icon and how she talked about the Genesis text. What really caught my attention, though was her statement about Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak:
Do you remember the invisibility cloak in Harry Potter? I think I know where she got the idea from. The blue of this figure can only be seen in snatches beneath his ethereal robe. Perhaps I found the reason that God is so elusive? He has an invisibility cloak? God the Father rests his hands on a staff, a symbol of authority. Behind him is a house, a dwelling place for God.
I find it interesting that she thinks that God is elusive. My experience has been that God is always to be found- in fact, God wants to be found by us.

Actually, when I think about it, when Harry dons the Invisibility Cloak, he is almost always found. Sometimes he is found by a friend and sometimes by an enemy. In Deathly Hallows Pt. 2, he uses the cloak to sneak into Gringotts, the wizard bank, an is almost caught by the bank guards. The cloak is really a temporary fix to the scrapes in which Harry finds himself. Harry is still detectable when he has to sneeze, bumps into something, or is around an animal that can smell him.

In a sense, God is like that too. Perhaps you can't always see God, but you can still detect God's presence. You know God is with you when you are touched by a song. you hug a longtime friend, or you are going through a hard time and still find the strength to go on. 

Perhaps it is not God who is elusive; perhaps it is our God-awareness that is elusive. It can be difficult to maintain the awareness of God in the everyday... it's a learned discipline. It would be nice to have a Marauder's Map to help us see where God is at all times. But if we did, we would always see God's footsteps moving along beside us. We don't need to build a house for God because God is here; God's home is with us. We just need to know how to be aware of that.

Have you ever had a hard time finding God in your everyday life? How did you find God again?

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