Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hogwarts Is Not Nain

Not Even Silence

“DREGDRAWER FULL” says the readout on my magic coffeemaker, dregdrawer full, and 1:56 a.m. is way too early to make the noise of emptying it and risk waking Linda. Instead, I used her Keurig and am sipping a cup of Community Coffee. Mild, good balance, not intense as I might want, but black, nice and hot, does the job. It’s a Louisiana coffee that I met and drank that week of silent retreat August 2013 at the Jesuit Spirituality Center in Grand Coteau. There was coffee downstairs very early, it was Community.

Comes in a red bag, and the Keurig pods have a red top. It’s fine, though I wish the pods or the whole bean bags were available with chicory as Louisiana coffee should be. However, not even Emeril’s kick it up a notch Big Easy pods are available with chicory. I wish they were.

If I get three wishes, that doesn’t count though.

This wish does count. Even in Harry Potter, anyone who died and went beyond the veil could not return. Not even in the magical world of imagination, potions, charms, curses and spells could one return or be called back from death. I wish that weren’t so absolutely so.

Online there is a story that stirs hope in me, a faint hope for Harry and his relationship with Sirius Black. Harry Potter and the Truth Beyond the Veil. Online fan fiction dated 2005, its author fashioned himself MagicalMuggle. He was Javee Chun, eighteen at the time, a college student from the Philippines, an aspiring writer. I love Harry Potter and all the books and movies so much that I wish our Bible creation stories could be rewritten so Eve and Adam would eat the fruit of the tree of life as well, and we could board the Hogwarts Express and enter a magical life where a tiny boy could be called back from beyond the veil and hearts not be broken. If I had one wish this Sunday of Advent Four that would be it (let the reader understand). But in this creation, life cannot be restored, God’s best offer, and our best hope is for eternal life with those we love. But that’s beyond the veil, and it's faith that is the substance of things hoped for, things unseen; and Hogwarts is not Nain. 

Not meant to be a downer blog post, I’m merely observing that all of creation has been shattered by a traffic fatality from which neither vehicles nor life can be reversed. One can only faith that God is as broken as the little boy’s daddy must be, in a darkness where not even silence can comfort.

What to do? A minister’s role amidst such desolation is specific -- to be present as physical evidence of the love of God, to weep with loved ones as Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus; but specifically, precisely to not break down himself at the funeral and become the center of attention, because the priest is never the center, but to fade in favor of God who is present in and as God’s word. Composure takes unwanted practice, dreaded experience, and total commitment to one’s calling. 

There are 30 chapters in Chun’s book. I read just one, but hope his imagination ... Can Harry visit Sirius and return -- or even return with Sirius --  


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