Jesus loves nerds. Thank goodness.

published May 25, 2010

I have peacefully come to terms with the fact that I am a perpetual nerd. And if anyone were to place me in a stereotype, I want it to be that one.

Again, for those of you who know me, this will not come as a surprise. I love LOST. And if you have been a part of American pop culture over the past weekend, you know that the six-season masterpiece came to an epic end on Sunday.

Before I express any of my thoughts on it (I loved it…well, that’s probably all I will say), I want to share a quote that I heard that greatly sums up two things that I have grown to love.

If reading Harry Potter was about learning how to live, then watching LOST was about learning how to die.” – Stephen King

The more I think about the ending of LOST (and I won’t spoil it for anyone who has not seen it and wants to), the more I love it. And there is so much truth to that statement: Harry Potter was about learning to live, LOST was about learning to die.

I grew up reading the Harry Potter books. In fact, I’ve read the series twice, some books more than others. I love how those books, like so many others, have the ability to completely captivate the reader. Harry Potter influenced me in so many ways. The books matured my love of reading. The story was drenched with mystery, action, humor, tragedy, and most importantly, love. All seven books hold the same theme: Good always conquers evil, and the power of love is the most powerful of all.

I won’t even bother to take time defending why I love Harry Potter and why it isn’t devil-raising witchcraft. To anyone who feels that way, I am so sorry that you didn’t give it a chance and completely missed the message it offers. The entire story is about defeating evil, not encouraging young people to try to be wizards. My entire childhood I grew up with the magic of Disney movies. My parents read fairytales and fantasies to my sister and me, and not once in my life have I decided to take up sorcery.

My mom was hesistant about me reading the Harry Potter series at first. She heard the uproar and the controversy and was not too keen on me reading them, but she let me decide for myself. After I fell in love with them, I tried my hardest to get her to read them. And six years and a “I’m going to college, we’ll be far away and this can be something we have in common” guilt trip, she read them and loved them as well.

While LOST is a completely different animal than Harry Potter, they share common grounds. LOST had the ability to captivate an audience and keep them on their toes week after week for six seasons. I have said so many times that I wish was clever enough to be a LOST writer. I could go on and on about why I love LOST, but it would be so hard for me to do that without completely spoiling the ending.

In my opinion, perhaps the most important thing about these two phenomenons is sacrifice. Both stories did not have a rainbows-and-butterflies happy ending. There was sadness, death, and loss. In the midst of me sobbing inbetween book chapters or getting choked up on Tuesday nights at 8:00, I realized that a great story must have sacrifice. The people in both stories in died for something.

A good friend of mine and I were talking about this very subject a few months ago. Both of us are avid Losties and Harry Potter fans. The reason this came up is because we were discussing the Twilight Saga. I read the Twilight Saga before it was popular. (I feel like “popular” is not a strong enough word to describe how it has taken over the lives of women of all ages). I’m one of those people who read it and liked it, the end. In fact, my mother introduced me to it by saying “hey Mary I think you’ll like this book.” That’s all. It is a good story, and I think Stephenie Meyer is a great writer, but the more I think about it, the more I don’t like it. Breaking Dawn was pretty far out there. Twilight was the hook, New Moon and Eclipse was the line, and Breaking Dawn was the…..”wait a minute, what”?

The main problem I have with the books is the lack of sacrifice. I realize it is a love story, not an epic-battle-like story. But the only sacrifice that was really made was Bella giving up her human life—but she wanted to give it up. She wanted to be a vampire. There was no battle, no struggle, no death or loss from important characters–it just had the happy ending everyone was hoping for.

I believe that God can use anything to bring glory to His name. (You’re probably thinking, wait a minute, where are you going with this…) But it is evident to see, things like Harry Potter and LOST and the Twilight Saga captures the imagination of people all over the world. I am certinally not trying to connect Harry Potter and Lost and Twilight to the Gospel, but they have potential to provide an illustration to someone who loves those stories but knows nothing of Christ. And on the subject of sacrifice and love stories, I have to say, the greatest one I ever heard is the reason for my existance. And the best part is, it is so much more than a story. It is a non-fiction event that took place in history. I have Someone that died for me, and Who loves me more than Bella ever dreamed of loving Edward.

If I have offended anyone, I apologize. But that’s the great thing about freedom of speech. You don’t have to agree with me. I am simply enjoying my geeky quirks and rejoicing in the fact that God’s love and sacrifice is the greatest of all.

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