A Pepper Grinder Post


If you have ever read the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling or seen the movies based on the books, you may well have heard of “Mad-Eye” Moody.  “Mad-Eye,” whose real name was Alastor Moody, was one of the wizards who fought on the side of the good wizards and witches opposing the evil Lord Voldemort.  Moody had captured or killed many dark wizards and witches and had the scars to prove it.  He had a wooden leg, was missing part of his nose, and only had one eye.  Well, one natural eye, that is.  To make up for the missing eye, he also had a magical eye.  This eye could see in almost any direction (at least when it was functioning correctly), and it could see things that normal eyes could not.  For example, when Harry wore his cloak of invisibility, Moody could still see him with his magic eye.  This eye tended to whirl around in a wild way, completely independent of his normal eye; hence the “Mad-Eye” nickname.

Mad-EyeI don’t know what you think about Harry Potter.  I expect some Christians are leery about the books and movies because of the emphasis on possession of magical powers which are independent of God.  I’ll confess; I felt this way myself for years.  At this point, I like the books quite well, in a way similar to the way I enjoy the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien, which also show a world where magical powers are at work, but where God is, at most, vaguely hinted at.  My point here is not to discuss whether the books are good or bad—I can understand and respect either view.  My point is an analogy that occurred to me between Moody’s eye and something which we, as Christians, need to have.

You may remember in a series I did about faith, where I quoted 2 Kings 6:15-17.

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. 
"Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see."
Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (NIV)

Much like Alastor Moody, Elisha could see a spiritual reality which his servant could not see.  The crucial difference is that the story of Elisha is fact, while the Harry Potter books are fiction.

In my , I talked about my desire to get back into the spiritual war.  One thing which I need to have in order to fight effectively is my own version of a mad-eye.  Many times, what is REALLY happening is not what appears to be happening.

When the city Elisha was in was surrounded by a huge army, the natural eye said the situation was hopeless.  The spiritual eye showed that God was in control and was going to use the situation to bring glory to himself.

Road in the CloudsWhen I am caught in traffic, my natural tendency is to become very annoyed.  There seems to be nothing good about the situation; it is just something ruining my plans.  If I try to see with my spiritual eye, I stop and ask, “Why is God doing this?  What good thing is he accomplishing?”  Maybe he wants nothing more than to show me he is in control.  Maybe he wants me to take time to think and pray.  Often I have found in this kind of situation that it was actually better for me to arrive later than I had planned.

When there’s an argument in my house, my natural tendency is to wince and hope it stops soon.  If I look with my spiritual sight, I will think about what God is accomplishing in the arguers and in me (if I’m not one of the people involved).  Instead of just hoping it will stop, I pray that God will use this to bring all of us closer together.  Surprisingly enough, I have seen that prayer answered many times.

When things go badly at work, such as a computer malfunction, my human eye sees something getting in my way and making me unhappy.  When I look with my spiritual eye, I see something that is teaching me perseverance.  I see a chance to learn more.  I see a situation that is making me a stronger person.  I see a motivation to turn to God, instead of just trying to do it all on my own.

There have also been times where I “saw” with my spiritual eye that something which seemed annoying or discouraging was actually a spiritual attack.  Realizing that makes it much easier for me to draw nearer to God, and to pray with renewed vigor.

Considering the good results I have seen when I see things from God’s perspective, I’m chagrined that I so often forget to use that special eye.  The truth is, we are in a battle with enemies at least as deadly as Death Eaters on broomsticks.  We need every weapon we can get.  We need that mad eye.


*Photo of Mad-Eye Moody from