harry, etc.

While walking along the Charles River Esplanade on Sunday with my folks, hundreds of folks were laying out enjoying the absolutely spotless weather. One out of ever 4 of them, it seemed, was reading the new Harry Potter installment, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. What is it with this ongoing story that has been translated into 63 languages and purchased 365 million times? What causes readers of all ages to forego sleep to digest the thick volume in a single night?

Is it the adventure? The romance? The friendship? The fantasy?

Admittedly, I’ve only seen the first movie and haven’t read any of the books. But the frenzy around J.K. Rowlings’ books is hard to ignore at this point, especially after 8.5 million copies of Book 7 were sold in the first 24 hours â&emdash; in the U.S. alone.


n54602793_31146510_294.jpgWith all the events of this past weekend, I almost forgot to mention our amazing evening last Wednesday. Chrissy and I went to a birthday party â&emdash; hers. But this was unlike any birthday party either of us had ever attended. Several of our neighbors came together and decided to throw her a surprise party. (these are the “single moms” I have mentioned before. They are not all technically “single,” but we certainly don’t see much of the men) One of them bakes (“designs” or “creates” would be a better verb here) cakes as a side job, so she made two for the party — a pineapple upside-down cake with fresh fruit and whipped cream on top, and a brandy (!) cake. Another woman played host for the surprise party, decorating her place with balloons and signs and preparing a Puerto Rican spread of salad, rice & beans, baked chicken, and these empanada-like things that were filled with meat. Oh man, was it all good!

My sole job was to get Chrissy down to our neighbor’s house, where several of our neighbors and their children were waiting to surprise the birthday girl. She was indeed surprised, though one of the kids answered the door when she rang and promptly told her that her “birthday cake is in the kitchen.” Kids, ya know?!

We sang the birthday song, ate, talked, and ate some more. We wrestled with the kiddos for a while and helped clean up. So many smiles, hugs, even tears were shared. It was perhaps the best time I’ve had in recent memory.

I couldn’t help thinking the whole time, “The Kingdom of God is like a surprise party thrown for you by people of little to no means, but with great joy.”


One last thing: My brother’s band, Homer Hiccolm & the Rocketboys, is in a contest to perform at this year’s Austin City Limits music festival (a big deal). The winner of the contest is determined by online votes, so please click over to this page and cast your vote for HHRB (one vote per person, per day, per IP address). The contest is in stages, so they’ll likely need your vote again in a few weeks. Check back here for the next opportunity to send them to Austin!


5 responses to this post.

  1. Wow, we’d have something if we could figure out a way to present the Jesus story like Rowlings’ does her books. Might be worth thinking about what makes them so appealing to so many. . . . .


  2. You haven’t read Harry Potter???

    I’ll pray for your soul.


  3. Hey, thanks for the link to HH&RB – I had no idea one of the RB’s was your brother – they sound great.


  4. Posted by Steve on July 25, 2007 at 8:06 am

    No problem, Kent — I have a feeling I’ll be hearing that the rest of my life =)


  5. Steve – actually my daughter reminded me she had told me before he was your bro. Yeah, I think you’ll keep hearing it – but us old guys will forget. I told someone today they sound kind of like Switchfoot – only better. 🙂


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