Over the summer, the students in my school district were required to read a certain book called How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster. At first, it seemed like a really, really boring book. But as I got into it, I realized how much hidden meaning authors put into their books! Even as I watch movies I discover the methods described in this book slyly hidden in the film. One chapter I want to focus on right now is chapter 21, “Marked for Greatness”.
In chapter 21, Foster states that the shapes or physical traits of a character tell us something about them or other characters in the story. Whether it be a cleft lip or a monster or a scar, these things speak out as something different than the normal-ness of other characters. It sets them up for something great. One of the obvious examples is a character many people have heard of. His name is Harry Potter. When just a baby, Harry Potter was marked by the feared Voldemort, at the same time destroying Voldemort for the time being. Throughout the seven books, Harry does many acts of greatness, big and small. Characters in the books recognize him by his scar. It’s a dead giveaway. It sets him apart.
Not all marks can be seen from the outside though. Diseases or organ problems can be marks for greatness too. And that is what got me wondering. Am I marked for greatness?
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before on this blog, but I have a minor aortic valve leakage in my heart with a murmur too. I’m not sure if this is the same thing or not, but my heart also has a hole in it. This could be my mark for greatness. Especially since my mark is on my heart, a great symbol in literature. The heart is often used as a symbol of love and caring and passion. I dearly hope that the hole in my heart does not mean a lack of love, care, and passion, but instead is a place where something greater than flesh and muscle resides.
So, I’m sure some of you may be thinking, marks for greatness are only in literature. They don’t apply in real life. I have an idea for you to chew on. What about cancer? And deformities? There are hundreds of people speaking publicly to the world that use their mark or handicap to bring along greatness. “Normal” people are often amazed that those with such a great burden can help so many others. Can be so selfless. It’s incredible. Those are the people that have accepted what God has given them, and they are using it to His will. To better the earth. To help mankind. To those people I tip my hat to. I wish I could do what you guys do. For you are marked for greatness. You have been set apart and given a challenge. And you have accepted it.