This past weekend at church we sang Amazing Grace, probably my all-time favorite worship song. As I was singing, of course I thought not only of the grace I’ve been extended by God, but also how that grace is reflected in my favorite fandoms. Below are a few of those grace moments off the top of my head (perhaps we’ll go more in depth at a later date):
1. “It is my mercy, not yours that matters.”
Dumbledore is known as a man of mercy. To me, mercy and grace go hand in hand. It is extending an undeserved pardon, and Dumbledore does that for Draco and many more throughout the books. It’s a quality that makes him such a good headmaster—a quality all good teachers and leaders must possess because people are not perfect and we all need grace and mercy.
2. “Gives ’em second chances…”
Though Hagrid messes up over and over, Dumbledore says he would trust the man with his life. The only way that is plausible is that Dumbledore extended a lot of grace and mercy to Hagrid for his faults and instead focused on Hagrid’s strengths—his unwavering loyalty and commitment to good even if others think he’s crazy. Long before Harry, Hagrid is Dumbledore’s man through and through.
3. “Father, I won’t leave you…”
4. Riley offered a way out…
On the mountain, Edward tries to save Riley from Victoria’s fate. He tries to show him that Victoria isn’t worth dying for, that she doesn’t love him, that she would rather Edward kill him. Sadly, Riley does not take this unmerited grace, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was extended.
5. “Try… be a man… try for some remorse….”
This is by far my favorite fandom grace scene. The worst part is that it didn’t make the movie! Harry, after all Voldemort has done to him and those he loves, offers Voldemort one last shot. Harry tries to save Voldemort. He doesn’t even attempt to harm or kill him, defeating Voldemort only because Voldemort rejected his grace; and Voldy’s killing curse rebounded off of Harry and ended up finishing himself off.
All of this to say, grace—even when unrequited—is beautiful and powerful and essential to all great fandoms, especially the greatest fandom. The one we live. The one where Christ is the superhero with a saving people thing. Where we were his enemy but he extended his arm to us in our deepest hour of need and said, “Come on. Let me help you up and we can face this thing together.”