My favourite line in the Harry Potter series comes in the last of the seven books, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The three friends are on the run, confused by the seemingly inadequate clues left by the late Professor Dumbledore, and unsure of what to do next. They fall to squabbling among themselves, and partly in anger and partly in fear for his family, Ron runs out on Harry and Hermione. The problem was that, given the nature of their nomadic existence, once Ron had left them there was no way he could find them again. A deluminator, a gift left to him in Dumbledore’s will, provided the way. It picked up Hermione’s voice like a radio transmitter and allowed him to home in on where they were. When he told Harry how he had found them (just in time to save Harry’s life) Ron said, “He – well, he must’ve known I’d run out on you.”
“No,” Harry corrected him. “He must’ve known you’d always want to come back.”
I find myself deeply moved by Harry’s correction. What a gift to give his friend. It speaks volumes of grace and forgiveness, of welcome and belonging. How easy it would have been, how natural, for Harry to have said, “Yeah.” In the film version, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Ron simply says, “Dumbledore must’ve known I would want to get back.” I think they missed it.
I wonder how often we have the opportunity to offer grace and forgiveness, welcome and a sense of belonging, but end up agreeing with another’s sense of failure and despair. Sometimes we have grace in our hearts, which we fail to express. Sometimes words get in the way and there is misunderstanding; sometimes our pride or sense of fairness, perhaps, gets in the way and we fail to bridge the gap or offer hope. At work managers are just too busy, and we fail to recognise the significance of such moments in employee’s lives. We confirm an employee’s failure without offering any understanding or any way forward; we focus on mistakes and ignore the positives and successes as unimportant or insignificant. We leave others hanging with, “he must’ve known I’d run out on you”, when there is so much more we could offer.
- Power, Love and Harry Potter(wonderingpreacher.wordpress.com)