Each morning and evening my family gathers in our living room to slow down and say prayer together. I don’t mention this faithful side of me much here but it is a big part of my life. We start the day bleary eyed and a little groggy, curling up in blankets to see each other before we leave for our various activities. Now that my children are all teens we find that morning prayer is even more important to not only to show our thankfulness for the things we have but to make sure everyone knows what the day has awaiting for us.

We likewise try to get in our evening prayer. That is harder to do with all our various activities.Yesterday as we found ourselves gathered together at 8:30 pm with the sun still somewhat bright in the sky it was my turn to pray. As I bowed my head I thought of the things that have brought joy to my life: my children, my husband, the beautiful nature around us, our jobs, music, my faith and….Harry potter!? Well it left my lips before I could stop it.

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the the first publishing of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. Twenty years ago his story was gifted to the world, including mine. An orphan boy and his friends touched my heart like no other book at the time. My daughter was just 18 months when the book entered my radar. I tore through the book and tried to get my family to read it. That began a love affair that included late night book launches, reading races between grown brothers (so no one could spoil the books’ content), costumes, Potter parties, sorting events, and so much more.

Mostly I thank God that He inspired a down on her luck author to create a world where children can learn about the dangers of exclusion:

“I’d say that it’s one short step from ‘Wizards first’ to ‘Purebloods first,’ then to ‘Death Eaters’ … We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” Kingsley Shacklebolt, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

What the world could be like if we try to see past the differences in us:

‘Our short-term aims,’ said Hermione, ‘are to secure house-elves fair wages and working conditions. Our long-term aims include changing the law about non-wand-use, and trying to get an elf into the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, because they’re shockingly under-represented.’ J.K. Rowling- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Showing us how power is poison and will even sacrifice the purity of life:

“You have slain something pure and defenseless to save yourself, and you will have but a half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the [unicorn] blood touches your lips.”  Warner Brothers- Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

Showing us that friends can be family but family is still important even if they treat you poorly:

“Makes a diff’rence, havin’ a decent family,” he said. “Me dad was decent. An’ your mum an’ dad were decent. If they’d lived, life woulda bin diff’rent, eh?”
“Yeah . . . I s’pose,” said Harry cautiously. Hagrid seemed to be in a very strange mood.
“Family,” said Hagrid gloomily. “Whatever yeh say, blood’s important. . . .”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

There is a character that everyone can relate to. The Luna Lovegoods in this world have a place in the wizarding world, the brainy girls can save the day, and the earnestness of friendship can get 100 points. I mostly cherish the effect the series has had on my children and how they have become kinder people towards others who are different from them. Harry Potter also in his way saved my son with high functioning autism from a life of solitude. My son learned to read up to the level the books demanded. He finds that he can talk to any Potter fan with ease and was extremely excited to be sorted with the rest of his family. (2 Hufflepuffs, 2 Ravenclaws, and 1 Griffindor by the way). As so many kids on the spectrum have experienced, when he was bullied and hurt the Wizarding World was waiting.

Yes, I feel blessed to have Potter in my life. We all need a little magic, and now that the spin off films have  arrived his world will be with us for many years to come.

Let me know how Harry Potter has enriched your life, leave a comment.


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