J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise is easily one of the most popular and beloved series to come out in quite some time. Since most millennials grew up with the books and movies, the story’s characters occupy a special place in the hearts of many. So when news broke that they would return for another iteration, set when Potter and his friends are adults, fans were understandably enthused. Unlike previous books, however, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will not be coming to the big screen any time soon. Instead, the two-part play will premiere on the stage at London’s Palace Theatre for a preview performance on June 7th with opening night officially set for July 30th.
While Harry and his family are again at the center of the action, another character is predicted by some to play the most memorable part. As The Telegraph‘s Alice Vincent speculates, “The Cursed Child will belong to Hermione.” For some, that process started when Swaziland-born actress Noma Dumezweni was cast for the part. The idea that Hermione will be played by a black woman did not sit well with some fans that grew up with Emma Watson’s version in the films. However, as Rowling pointed out on Twitter, “brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione.”
While Dumezweni’s race shouldn’t be an issue, it does open up interesting new interpretations for her character’s background. As one of the few characters not born to wizard parents, Hermione faced bigotry and prejudice throughout the original stories from those who looked down on her as a “mudblood”—”the closest thing the wizarding world has to a racial slur” according to Vincent.
Given that, in the story, adult Hermione works for the Department of Magical Law to combat such prejudice, the choice of Dumezweni to portray her gives added relevance to that fight. Making the connection between the fictional struggle in Rowling’s created world and the racial struggle that continues in ours will be all the more apparent as a result of Hermione’s portrayal on stage and can, perhaps, help to get a very important message across to what is likely to be an enraptured audience.
Can God use your life to accomplish something similar? Each of us has certain aspects of who we are that make us uniquely positioned to help people understand God’s offer of salvation. Whether it’s an event from your past, an aspect of your personality and heritage, or some other influence that has helped to shape who you are, our heavenly Father can use those things to craft our witness according to his will and purpose (Luke 8:26–39, Romans 8:28, 1 Corinthians 12).
So what is it about your story that makes your testimony unique? If you aren’t sure how to respond to that question, ask God and then let him help you apply that answer in your life. You have a role to play in bringing people to his kingdom that no one besides you can fill. Are you ready for it?