It seems almost everyone is talking about the new Harry Potter movie, “The Half-Blood Prince” based on J.K. Rowling’s sixth book in the series. I’ve read all the books and as usual, I think the book is so much better. The movie is entertaining, for sure, but so much had to be left out and several liberties taken with original story. [SPOILER WARNING – if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet and plan to, don’t read on]
At the end of the story, Death Eaters (the bad guys) have made their way into the previously secure school Hogwarts. Draco, a student who has become a death eater, has been charged by the dark lord, Voldemort, with the task of killing the head master, Dumbledore. He’s made several feeble attempts that failed but now has found Dumbledore in a tower (Harry & Dumbledore had just returned from a dangerous quest in another place) and stands with his wand pointed at him, poised to kill. In the movie, before Draco gets there, Dumbledore tells Harry to run and get a professor and not to come back up to the tower under any circumstances. Harry starts downstairs but then, hearing what’s happening, stays a floor underneath watching and listening. He doesn’t run back up to help Dumbledore because He gave his word not to.
In the book, Harry turns to go get the professor and hears Draco come up to the tower where they are. Before he can turn to say anything or help, Dumbledore wordlessly casts a spell that immobilizes him. Harry stands under his invisibility cloak, stiff as a statue, leaning up against the wall, an unwilling spectator, unable to move or speak. Dumbledore talks Draco down so he almost gives up and gives in, but the other death eaters reach the tower including the professor Harry was supposed to fetch. Harry watches with horror, powerless, as the professor who was supposed to help actually raises his wand pointed at Dumbledore and mouths the killing curse. I think the book version is more poignant, more tragic. Harry doesn’t choose to stand by and watch his beloved friend and head master be murdered, even if he gave his word not to interfere, he’s unable to, he has no choice. He’s the possessor of an undesirable front row seat.
To a much lesser degree, I feel I have an undesirable front row seat as a mom. As my girls grow older and become more and more independent, there are times when I feel I must watch, unable to speak or do anything to change circumstances, whether or not I like what I see happening. This is immensely frustrating at times – and takes a lot of self-control. Unlike Harry, I’ve not been immobilized, I choose to remain quiet and back out of the picture…most of the time. I feel it’s a matter of trust – Trust in God to guide and protect them, and trust in my girls, even if they fail and make mistakes. I think back to that time in MY life and remember how many silly decisions I made and how it must have been hard for my mom to sit in her front row seat, quiet and “unable” to do anything. Thankfully none of them are planning on killing any head masters, that I know of.
God, help me to keep trusting. Give me the self-control to trust you and not try to take matters into my own hands, even if what I see concerns me or causes me anxiety. And about that…forgive me for anxiety or worry. That means I’m not fully trusting You. I’m trying! Give me more faith in You, remove my fear. Somehow make me thankful for this place I have and remind me that although I may not be able to do or say anything to one of my daughters at their times of decision, I CAN pray to You anytime. Keep me on my knees.