Wednesday, May 16, 2007


By a curious mixture of planning and happenstance, I am without work this month. I finished up my stint at Big Ivy U the last Sunday in April.

I loved that job.

I loved the students. I loved the experience of preaching in worship in that beautiful chapel. I loved the experience of preaching to that community. They are so utterly open. They are intelligent, of course, and analytical, and challenging; they by no means accept uncritically my view of scripture or of anything else. But they are open to the conversation. I had some of the best theological discussions of my life there-- ranking up with those from seminary days. I also had the experience of mentioning a local issue or struggle at joys and concerns-- and having a student approach me during coffee hour to say, "What can we do? Can we help?" Wow.

One of the things that struck me the most strongly about the students was the fact that they are not yet hardened into their roles or positions in the church. I am not preaching to (or chatting with) the Buildings and Grounds guy, or the Flower lady, or the Worship maven. How they will see themselves as part of a Christian community is still very fluid and unfixed... which I believe leads to things like the open-hearted inquiry, "How can we help?" What an absolute joy it is to work and worship with people who are not yet stuck in their own little territories and fiefdoms ('cause, I'm just sayin'. It happens. Ya know?).

So... I ended with sadness but real delight in the experience of being their interim chaplain. And now I am waiting.

I am waiting to begin a (very) short term interim in July.

I am waiting for rehearsals to begin for the production of The Mikado in which Petra, Larry-O and I will be performing this summer.

I am waiting for an interview with a nearby church for a permanent position.

But do you know what I am waiting for with the excitement of a lover anticipating a tryst?

I am waiting for July 21.

Yes. I am waiting. For Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

On my very last day at B.I.U. I had brunch with a group of about a dozen students. A grad student and I began chatting about the release in July of the next Harry Potter book, and for an hour or so we swapped theories, reminisced about our favorite scenes and characters, and generally whipped one another into a minor frenzy of anticipation.

Word is, two people will die in this book. A lot of folks think those two will be Harry and Voldemort, because they are clearly connected to one another, and the likelihood is that Harry will have to die in order for Voldemort to die as well.

Neville might replace Harry in this scenario, though. Neville is clearly also connected with Harry, at least, in some way.

A friend wondered if the two would be Fred and George Weasley, who have shown a propensity for going out with fireworks. But that would leave Voldemort alive... if indeed there are "only" going to be two deaths.

But the issue that concerns me almost more than who dies is the issue of Snape. I am clinging irrationally to the hope that he will be revealed to be good after all, at the last. I so want this tortured character to find redemption... and of course, that might be accomplished by his death in service of saving Harry and killing V.

So I'm wondering... any theories out there? And any suggestions for someone who's... waiting?


Grandmère Mimi said...

Mags, I'm pleased that you enjoyed your time at Big Ivy U. It sounds wonderful. You may never have it so good again, unless you return to campus ministry. The members of parish churches have issues.

No real theories on the final Harry Potter. I'd say that the Harry and Voldemort deaths make the most sense from where I sit. We'll see.

Iris said...

I was a late convert to the magical ways of Harry, but when I did decide to begin reading last year, I checked out all the books from the library. I was totally absorbed. Hours flew by, my kids were begging for their dinner, I read into the wee hours. I get it now!

I, too, want to see Snape turn out to be a good character. I can't believe that Dumbledore would have been so deluded. Also, I think there may be something to Neville stepping up. What if Harry is like a John the Baptist, preparing the way for Neville's heroism. Just a wild thought I had.

Prayers for your upcoming interview. Are you excited about this congregation?

Suzer said...

I read somewhere, and agree with, the theory that Harry is a horcrux. That when Voldemort attacked Harry as a baby, perhaps he wasn't really trying to kill him? Perhaps he was creating a horcrux (sealing a bit of his soul) in Harry. This is interesting because if Voldemort dies and Harry lives, would Voldemort truly be dead if a bit of him lives on in Harry?

I've tossed around the idea in my head of Snape, Hagrid or Neville dying to save Harry's life. I can't bring myself to believe that Rowling would kill off Harry, Ron or Hermione. Or any of the Weasleys.

I've clearly thought way too much about this, and even reread the books scouring them for clues. The anticipation is delicious, though, isn't it?

Gannet Girl said...

July 21 -- perfect timing -- the day after the Lovely Daughter has her wisdom teeth extracted. She will be in need of a new HP.

Thanks for your kind words -- and how could anyone not enjoy that beeee-autiful school? I'm glad your experience was so positive.

Cynthia said...

One of life's greatest blessings to me is work that you enjoy. I hope the next interim assignment and permanent position are equally wonderful. I've got my copy of "...Deathly Hallows" on order already.

Magdalene6127 said...

Glad to know my blogging pals are anticipating Harry's last as much as I am! Iris, I love the Harry as John the Baptist image! And wouldn't that be so perfect... the one we least expect, in a way, to be the savior. How-- dare I say it?-- Christian!

Suzer, it is delicious indeed. Tasty!

The church is interesting... possibly a good fit, though it is hard to tell from the church profile. I think some are simply better written than others, which can be deceptive.

I'll certainly post on all this as it unfolds.



hipchickmamma said...

i'm late but couldn't resist commenting with the harry potter chatter!

i love Iris' idea about Harry as John the Baptist, i have had high hopes for neville as well but never put it in that context!

i understand the longing to see snape as good guy at last. it's terrible but i have less appeal with that line--it's too cliche. i simply think he goes with who's winning, but perhaps in the end he could do something heroic and realize that fence sitting itsnt so great afterall. i don't know.

unfortunately i can see her killing off one or more of the weasley's--it would be horrible but i can't imagine her "saving" anyone despite how beloved they are. jenny perhaps?

harry as horcrux is a good possibility as well, but i tend to think it'd be an accidental one. of luck with everything!