Who doesn’t love a Fairy Tale with a happy ending? Throw in a Prince, gorgeous costumes and settings and you have a winner! A night out watching the new Cinderella movie certainly delivered! No rewritten unusual takes or dark downsides, Cinderella got her Prince and her happy ending. And my girls’ night out did not disappoint and I was fortified for the holidays with my boys!
The original Cinderella movie had great quotes. Who can forget “A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep.” And true to the original Cinderella movie this lastest rendition delivered on its share of quotables. I love the introduction with the line “She saw the world, not always as it was, but as it could be…with a perhaps a little bit of magic.” Good outlook on life to have I’d say.
My most favourite line though is “Would who she was really be enough? There was no magic to help her this time. This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take—to be seen as we truly are.”
It causes Cinderella to ask the Prince: “No princess, no carriage, no parents, no dowry, I don’t even know if that slipper will fit—will you take me as I am—an honest country girl who loves you?” Her future happiness, her future life period was dependent on the Prince accepting her as she was, the real her. No Fairy Godmother to dress her up this time as she faced the Prince. Just her – exposed and vulnerable.
But how freeing for her, the Prince’s response, “of course I will”. No need to pretend, she could relax and be her. When we allow ourselves to no longer hide behind masks or pretend to be someone we’re not and to embrace everything that makes us uniquely us we are just as free. God created each of us uniquely and He delights in who we are. He delights in our uniqueness.
The way God sees us matters more than any thought that we’ve had or comparison we’ve made or what others have said about us. Often though it is those voices that clamour insistently in our brains and drown out what God has to say about us. We need to be as brave as Cinderella and embrace who we are.
Our stories too have a happy ending, for we stand before a King – the King of Kings, who loves us just the way we are.
Fairy Tales seem to be enjoying a bit of a renaissance at the moment. Well certainly for the adults that is. Fairy Tales for children have always been in vogue. But over the last couple of years, fairy tale after fairy tale have been retold in a movie. From Snow White and the Huntsman, to Maleficent and now Cinderella, the classic fairy tales all undergo a revamp to appeal to the “grownups”.
Essentially though, the story remains the same. To quote Miss Prism from “The Importance of being earnest”, “The good ended happily and the bad unhappily.” There can be no messing with the end of Fairy Tales. The Princess ends up with the Prince. The Kingdom restored to former glory and well the bad guys….it ends badly for them.
It seems that the beauty and magic of a Fairy Tale never grows old. Heroes, Heroines, great feats and acts of love and courage, a bad guy to conqueror are the key ingredients. Ingredients for a great story. But fiction, a tale nonetheless.
Yet here I am, living right in the middle of my Fairy Tale. Living in the reality of a true story. The ingredients are all there. Heroes, great feats and acts of love and courage. But I’m not wearing a tiara (I wish!) , I don’t have glass slippers or a ball to attend, but I’m a star in this story. I’m one that a King pursues and saves.
Yes, I am a part of the greatest love story ever, as are you! The true story of a God for His people. And across the ages, we see time and time again His intent and love for us. The rescues, the healings, the miracles. We see a God, a King, so kind, so good, so loving that He would construct the best rescue plan possible to rescue His Bride. He would send His Son from Heaven into Earth undercover as a baby, to ensure that we could get home to Heaven.
The twist in this story is that the plan includes the sacrifice of His Son – Jesus for us. That Jesus would die for us. And while this would turn most Fairy Tales into a tragedy more like a Shakespearean play, it does not end there. Jesus rises again, victorious and having conquered sin and death, and we are free. Free now to be partakers of His inheritance. Free to live a life of peace, of hope, of love through the grace of Jesus.
Free to live Happily Ever After.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall…”
I am sure that you can guess where this is going!
“…who is the fairest of them all?”
Yes, straight from the pages of the Fairy Tale, Snow White. In this tale we find a beautiful woman, a Queen no less, daily asking the question of a magic mirror and on a slippery slope that will destroy her. Her happiness in life is wrapped up, not just in her beauty but how her beauty compares to others. When she is the most beautiful in the land, she is happy, and when she discovers she is not, she does all she can to destroy the more beautiful Snow White.
It’s definitely the stuff of Fairy Tales, and of course ends happily for Snow White, and not so happily for the Queen! But this scenario plays out time and time again in the world today. So if there is anything that we can learn from Snow White, (other than don’t eat the apple!), it is that comparison is destructive.
Comparison is a two sided coin. On the one hand it can leave us feeling proud and superior, while on the other it can leave us feeling insecure, plagued by envy and jealousy. When we place our identity in how we compare to those around us – with our looks, money, profession, in fact in any aspect of life, we will live our lives continually asking the question, “am I the fairest of them all?” When our identity is placed in anything or anyone else other than God we will easily be shaken. We will inevitably spend our lives comparing ourselves to others and our happiness will fluctuate based on how we think we measure up. If we are the “fairest” we will temporarily feel happy, until the situation changes, and it will change…someone comes across our path better, brighter. Our culture is full of making comparisons in our looks, personality, worth, what we have and do not have.
We have a choice as to where we place our security, our confidence. We can place it in how we think we compare to others or in God. God doesn’t compare us to others. His love doesn’t come in a ranked order. When our identity is in God, we will not be shaken and can live secure lives.
I love the words of the song – “My Life is in you Lord.” I think it sums it up perfectly.
My Life is in you Lord,
My Strength is in you Lord,
My hope is in your Lord,
In you, it’s in you”
No need for a magic mirror when you have God!