I’m not a mega fan of Disney. But on a bad day, we could all do with an ‘all singing all dancing beautiful people living happily ever after’ fairytale ending for ourselves…
But Disney movies are not exclusively about stunningly beautiful young ladies meeting their Prince Charming, falling in love at first sight, breaking spells & living blissfully forever in a turreted castle…. Seemingly simple storylines present with complex subplots & thought provoking themes that challenge our thinking & attitudes to life. And not every film has a happy ending.
There is a moving song in the movie Pocahontas called ‘Colours of the Wind‘ which makes me think seriously about humankind’s treatment of our planet & my potential prejudiced attitude to those who think and live differently to me for a variety of reasons. Although the movie is a fictionalised account of true events, the character of Pocahontas actually did exist in the early 1600s and encountered the English colonisers in her native land.
In the song she sings the line : “But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew” which resonates strongly with me. There is clearly so much I do not understand about others life experience, to the extent that if I lived as them for a day I would learn things that right now i don’t even have a notion that i need to learn! What a challenge to those of us that think we have it sorted… Or semi sorted occasionally… at times!
This concept was became very real to me again recently as I received a letter from a person who was observing a situation from a distance with no real understanding of the complexity of the issues and the challenges faced. She appeared quick to judge & offer her critical advice. She had no idea of the true circumstances, the various struggles & setbacks, the personal pain and the stress experienced. She only saw one part of the picture and did not investigate further….. Needless to say the letter had a very detrimental effect.
“But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew”
I have vowed ever since receiving that letter to be slow to judge & open to ‘learning things I never knew I never knew’ – as my external view of a situation will always be subjective and skewed by my own prejudices and life experience.
I am thankful that I serve a God that in all his holy perfection has actually walked in the footsteps of a human in the person of Jesus Christ. He has experienced firsthand the complexity of life in our world as a person. He has truly suffered and died at the hands of others therefore understands completely the worst of human experience.
So, no matter what I face, and who is criticising from afar, I can have faith in Jesus who understands completely & is interceding on my behalf, having made a way directly to God for me (as stated in Hebrews 4):
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
I know for sure, my ‘fairytale ending’ is at the throne of grace and I will approach with confidence in my time of need.