I am presently sitting at the very spot in the very chair where JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book and I am unashamedly acting as giddy as a schoolgirl! Perched in the back corner of The Elephant House in Edinburgh, I am sipping a divine Americano across from my beloved, as we wait for our breakfast order to be served by a lovely young girl named, Angel. It's absolutely heavenly!
I’ve taken a dozen photographs from every angle to capture the creative space that launched a legend and now I sit and sip and stare out the window that she used to stare out. The table is sticky from years of use and tens of thousands of Harry Potter fans trying to soak up whatever inspirational residue that may be remaining. Admittedly, that’s why I’m here as well. I’m praying that I might gain access to the portal that she worked under--the anointing that she tapped into. I know Holy Spirit isn’t confined to a particular location and that God is no respecter of persons, but I also know that “thin places” exist here and there where heaven is more easily accessible for those who believe--and I believe!
I’m asking God for more--more creativity, more imagination, more favor. I want to write books that will reach the masses like Harry Potter. I’m not asking for the purpose of making myself famous, but to make Him famous. I want to influence His Kingdom--prepare the way for the King's return. I want to write vivid, imaginative, fantastical myths that inspire young and old alike to dream, to hope, to believe in the possibility of a happy ending despite great and terrible battles, and to discover that despite the battles, and quite possibly because of them, they are more than they thought they were at the start. I want to write books that will last forever, a'la Lord of the Rings and Narnia. Seems absolutely impossible, right? But I have something up my sleeve...Matthew 19:26.
JK Rowling was a single mom, living on welfare when she wrote the first Harry Potter book on an old table in the back corner of a relatively unknown cafe where I now sit. When interviewed not too long after publication, she was surprised by its success, “It wildly overshot my expectations, I have to say. It’s sold more than about 30,000 copies in the UK which to me is phenomenal.” She thought that was shocking! She obviously had no idea what was to come. A seemingly impossible dream became possible as her Potter series has since sold more than any other series in history, over 400 million copies. It is estimated that the books have earned JK a billion dollars thus far.
Love them or hate them, Harry Potter books have swept the world over making their mark on millions of muggles--bringing a bit of magic to their ordinary day and sparking imaginations around the globe. One visit to the bathroom at The Elephant House captures it perfectly. Nearly every square inch is covered with personal notes of gratitude to JK and classic Harry Potter quotes. Visitors from around the world came to leave their mark for the women who left a mark on them.
Whether you’re a fan of the story or not, you have to admit that it did what a book is supposed to do--make an impact. Harry Potter creates a sense of adventure, stirs emotions, makes one think, promotes conversations, and awakens imaginations. And in a very real sense, it creates a community--a community of fans united in their love for the world JK created. And for that, I say, “Bravo, JK. Bravo for leaving a legacy big enough to challenge the rest of us to put up or shut up.” I, for one, pick up my pen and take that challenge!