Life Lessons From Dobby the House Elf

While I was vacuuming, I was thinking about the verse in John (8:36) that says,

"Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

I really don't normally just think about this kind of stuff, but here it is.

I grew up in the church. I grew up knowing the song Jesus Loves Me.

I didn't, however, grow up believing that.

I grew up terrified of God.

I believed that God was just up there in his big gold throne, just WAITING for me to put a single toe out of line, and then he'd squish me with his gigantic God-sized thumb.

Those who knew me growing up, I was a really good kid. I always went to church, I went to youth, I did a ton of work in my church and my community.

Don't get me wrong, those are all really good things.

But I did them not out of love for the Father, but out of FEAR that he would kill me, make me sick, or hurt someone I love.

What kind of relationship is that?

I hope that Harper doesn't grow up thinking that if she doesn't act a certain way, that Casey will harm her. That's not the kind of relationship I wish on anybody.

No one should be terrified of their father.

That's not love at all.

After I started university, I started going to a different church. One that taught a little different. One that didn't make me feel like I wasn't doing enough to keep God from squishing me. One that made me feel like God actually loved me, not hated me.

Well, actually, it's wasn't really the church it was the message that I went for. It was so enlightening.

I felt loved.

The way you're supposed to feel about your Father.

After I came to understand grace in a whole new light, I was finally free.

It's not about what I can do for Him, it's what he did for me at the cross. He paid for all sins, past present and future. No matter what I do, I'm forgiven. 

After 18 years of feeling scared that God might hurt me or my family because of something I did or didn't do, I can say that I finally felt free.

Free of the weight of that gigantic thumb trying to squish me.

Free from the fear that I wasn't doing enough.

Now I really do know the meaning of John 8:36.

I memorized that verse in Awana, Cubbies, Chums, Youth, Sunday name it.

But I never truly understood it until MUCH later.

You're probably wondering what the title of my blog is getting at.

Well, if you're familiar with Harry Potter at all (I'm a HUGE HP fan), you'll know who Dobby is.

If not, I'll help you out.

That's Dobby. 

He is a House Elf. He is enslaved to a family for his entire life. Forced to serve them no matter what they ask of him. 

The only way that he can be freed is if his master presents him with clothing. So, therefore, the people who he serves must be very careful not to leave any clothing lying around. 

In the second book/movie, Dobby is accidently freed by his evil owner. 

He suddenly becomes the happiest little elf in the whole world. 

He is forever grateful to Harry for helping to free him, and throughout the rest of the books/movies, he plays a very important role in defeating the Dark Lord. Eventually, he gave his life for it. 

But, he didn't do these things because of fear, or duty, he did them out of love. He gladly gave his life because he loved, and was loved. 

He was a free elf. 

At that moment in the movie, you can see the huge weight of the world lifting off of his tiny little shoulders. 

I find this whole thing quite amusing, because I was told when Harry Potter first came out, that it was evil, and I shouldn't read it. 

Clearly I listened to that one...

I'm surprised I was never squished for it.