A dear friend had a relevatory experience at Disney this past week. Considering the modern state of Disney, I find this remarkable. For you edification and illumination, in his own words:
This past week, my wife, my boys, and I spent a great week at all things Disney…and some things not. Like Universal Studios. For all the things we did at the four Disney parks, the real intent of the trip (at least for my wife and boys!) was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I have to admit…the park really delivered; in some ways I did not expect.
To ask my oldest, Tyler, what the highlight of his trip was, he would no doubt tell you it was being ‘chosen’ by a wand at Ollivander’s, the wizard wand shop from the popular book series. This is where Harry was picked by his wand, where his journey as the ‘chosen one’ began in earnest. Tyler loves these books and movies; therefore, it was a real treat when the ‘wandmaker’ chose Tyler to have a wand ‘choose’ him.
Tyler was summoned forward, and was asked by the wandmaker to try out a couple of wands. The wandmaker instructed Tyler to cast a spell that would enlarge a bell with one wand; when he flicked the wand, the bell pealed a loud gong, then the sound bounced all over the shop. Not the right one, said the wandmaker, and he presented Tyler with another one, asking Tyler to ‘water’ a pot of flowers on an upper shelf. The wand was flicked, and the flowers…all wilted immediately. (Did I mention that this was really cool???) The wandmaker repaired the flowers, then pondered a moment, uttering, ‘could it be?’ He then reached for a third box, and upon presenting the wand to Tyler, a shaft of light illuminated my 11 year old, and the wandmaker was ‘awestruck’. Music played and the wandmaker made a very convincing speech about this wand being special and ‘choosing’ this special boy to weild it. It was a very powerful and moving moment…for me.
Thing is, we all want this in reality. We all long to feel ‘chosen’, to feel as though we have a divine purpose for which only we are capable, that something hinges on our accepting our role, and that others could ‘see’ the illumination of our life’s purpose, our glory…our calling.
I certainly have always felt that way. But my moment of illumination has always proved elusive. I know, in my heart, that I am ‘destined’ for something transcendent, something much more than what I currently see. Yet the ‘what’ is still eluding me, staying hidden. And it is frustrating, to say the least.
At any rate, Tyler was so jazzed by this moment, this ‘rite of passage’, and we with him, that we all decided that we would buy wands with him, to celebrate his moment. And I believe that God set me up a bit, as the wand I chose wound up ‘choosing’ me.
As we perused the packed shelves of wands, my youngest son went between the wand of Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter. He wound up choosing Harry’s wand as his own. (A decision that, for me, is bigger than what he had in mind!) My wife immediately went for the wand of Dumbledore, the ‘Elder Wand’, as it is called. I had seriously considered that one, but as she chose that one, I let it be. I wasn’t sure which one I would get, and so was looking over the names of the characters from the movie.
The name Sirius Black seemed to jump out.
So I picked it up, and opened the box. This may sound inconsequential to some of you, but for me, it rang home immediately. I thought of who Sirius was, how he was misunderstood, falsely accused, how he tried to live a noble life in adulthood, but was looked upon with suspicion and a wary eye by the ‘wizarding community’, and thus had to live within the ‘rogue’ status that was thrust upon him, how he was not wanted, but needed, and how he came through when it counted the most…
I’m completely Sirius.
I can so identify with that. Like the character Jephthah from Judges 11, who was a warrior that his tribe didn’t want, but eventually needed. Or like Jeremiah, who knew his role, but didn’t always want it, knowing what a hard road it was. In fact, Jephthah’s character is permanenty etched onto my arm in the form of a tattoo that reads, in hebrew, ‘God of the Warrior, God of the Outcast’. That’s what I have spent so much of my life feeling like. Now, in my 40’s (just barely!), I have come to embrace this about me. It’s not what I’d always prefer, but, like Sirius, I must learn to be what I was designed to be in the midst of less than desirable circumstances. Not all will accept me, but I also am learning this: I am not alone.
Are you Sirius, too? Do you struggle to exist in a world that makes little room for you? Are you the outsider, the pariah, the ‘weird one’? Do you feel pulled between this world and another, a world where you KNOW that you can be who you really are without fear, without misunderstanding, without being maligned or ostracized? Then own it. Might as well, as it’s quite likely that our Father made you just. like. you. are. It might not make your life any easier, but it will make your burden a little lighter. You don’t have to follow the prevailing script. Some of us were made to dance to a much different tune, a tune that the world so often can’t hear, a tune that is only heard within the hearts of those who hear it.
You might not ever be the life of the party, but you can help the Harry’s of the world become who they are destined to be by accepting your role, and living in it to the best of your ability.
I’m not there yet, believe me. But I want to be. I want to find others who are like me, to forge a brotherhood, like Jephthah, of other men whom the world deems ‘worthless men’. And I want to go out raiding. I want to fight the real battle, not the sidelining ones that the Enemy is all too willing to engage us in. If those in the greater ‘wizarding world’ never accept us, we must be okay with that. We have a job to do; a job that may never garner us a spotlight or commendation. Here, anyway.
My prayer to our Father is that He would continue to shine the light of illumination upon me, and the others who hear the music in their hearts. Dance your dance, and become even more undignified than that, if it pleases the King.
Be completely Sirius.