I just started my 9th (ish) re-read of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix a couple days ago. I’m on the part where Harry just saved Dudley from the Dementors. Dudley is so affected by them that he can’t even walk home; Harry pretty well has to drag him. This got me thinking (again) about what Dudley could have possibly remembered when the Dementors were near? He’s been pampered all his life. Thankfully a co-worker of mine remembered that J.K. Rowling gave us an answer back in 2007,

“I think that when Dudley was attacked by the Dementors he saw himself, for the first time, as he really was. This was an extremely painful, but ultimately salutory lesson, and began the transformation in him.” ~ J.K. Rowling

Rowling’s insights made me think: If I saw myself as I really was, how would that affect me? No one is perfect. We all have sides of us that are less than stellar. If we got to see ourselves as we truly are, imagine how much each of us would transform. I actually kind of wish I could—though I’d probably be in about as good of shape as Dudley afterwards.

But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:14-18 NLT

To me, when I first had my come-to-Jesus or born-again or whatever you want to call it moment, the blinders began to lift. I began to see more and more truth, including the truth about me—I’m no perfect, not even close. There is a lot of evil in me. I’ve been rude, mean, selfish. I’ve told lies; I’ve said hurtful things. I’ve talked behind people’s backs. The list goes on. Thankfully, those blinders are slowly lifting, giving me bits more of additional truth. I think if any of us saw the full truth all at once, it would incapacitate us worse that Dudley when he met the Dementors.

As this truth is revealed to me (or to anyone who decides to believe), it is up to us what we do with it. Do we shrug our shoulders and say, “That’s just who I am”? Or do we take the Dudley stance and change?

I hope, with every truth I ever see about myself, that my ultimate answer is to change.