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The Secrets of Dumbledore and righting our wrongs

Is life more than 'trying' to be better?

The Secrets of Dumbledore and righting our wrongs

Tue 19 Apr 2022
Is life more than 'trying' to be better?
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The allure of another movie in the J. K. Rowling franchise captured me quickly. It got me to the movie theatre mid-week in the middle of the day and this magical adventure did not disappoint. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore had the usual great special effects, development of characters, and twists in the storyline, which made it all very enjoyable to watch. Yet, within my enjoyment of the film, I was struck with an overwhelming sense of how crippling of a world these characters' have to endure. Their perspective of life is not just one that exists within the magical world of J. K. Rowling, but I think it is an ever-present one in our world today.

Partway through the film, the young Dumbledore (Jude Law) expresses his past foolishness and wrongs to Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in a rather emotional scene. He shared his disappointment over the decisions that he made in the past. Newt then turns to him and expresses that we all make mistakes and deserve second chances, but it is all about 'trying.' Attempting to make it right. If we just 'try' to fix our past wrongs, we do the best thing we can.

The movie flows from revealing Dumbledore’s past secrets and the effect that those have had on his present reality. Then within the screenplay, we can see how he tries to make things right. Hogwarts's headmaster attempts to un-trap himself from the blood pact that he made with Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen). This emotional and physical journey is meant to release him from past mistakes and redeem the wizard from choices he made in his younger years.

Spoiler alert

The film ends with Dumbledore succeeding. He was redeemed from his past to the point of being declared one worthy of leading the magical world. Since he tried to make things right and succeeded, the seasoned professor was eventually redeemed and proved worthy.

What struck me was the pressure that is involved in this viewpoint. This made me ponder how crippling it must be to live in a world where the mistakes from your past continue to be held over you. An inner burden exists which uncovers a need to constantly try to make things right.

At this point in the movie, I was filled with a tremendous sense of relief within my own Christian faith. This inner turmoil is not God's life calling for his followers to live. In fact, it is the very opposite. People can come to God fully knowing that we are broken, undeserving people. Yet, all of humanity are offered forgiveness, grace, acceptance, and love from that place in the message of the Bible.

With Jesus there is no 'trying' to make things right. He teaches:

“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).

In our place of brokenness and weakness, Jesus takes us and makes us whole. He gives us a life restored to our creator with meaning and greater hope for the future than we could ever make for ourselves. Jesus Christ gives us rest for our souls without our need to constantly 'try' to make it right. What great rest for the souls of those who choose to follow Jesus. And what a great offer there is for all of those weighed down by the burdens of the past. A proposal of forgiveness and rest for the soul without the constant need to 'try' and make things right all by ourselves.

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