(#HarryPotterBookNight this 6 Feb, I’m reading at Expeditie-E!)
I was leaving High School when the Harry Potter phenomena struck. The hype repelled me and some Christian background flagged “witchcraft” as skip.
Fast forward 20 years. My kids’ school sends a letter urging parents to mind “trends and hypes,” characters with magic or super powers like Elsa and Superman came under fire.
Was ‘The Bachelor’ a jump start for ‘Secret Princes’ where royalty go undercover to find true love? These shows expose our longing to be loved for who we are, not what we have, do, or who we’re friends and family with.
I’m a bit bible nerdy and instead of skipping over peculiar texts, I sometimes dwell on them. It’s a quirk I’m trying to appropriate so here’s my take on a text you probably never heard preached in church: The fourteenth day.
It appeared during Moses’ instructions to Israel before the 10th and final, most gut-wrenching plague. Every first born was to be killed and this plague sparked the Exodus from Egypt.
Disney’s Brave touched my heart like Frozen, but deeper. In Frozen we glimpse sacrificial love and our divine identity, but Brave touches something deeper: the reality of our love-hate relationship with God.
Merida, a fiery and fun-loving princess who wants to live on her own terms (who doens’t?) runs up against traditions that oppress her spirit. Her mother tries to prepare her for all the ways and responsibilities of a princess, including arranged marriage, but the pair are losing their minds and each other.
I started this post in Nov. 2016 before the first #MuslimBan, then #Charlottseville happened, and now #DACA (deporting children and young adults who grew up in, and contribute to America, because they were not born in the U.S.). Even now, the political developments are whirlwind-like.
The call to protect our people | our borders | our way of life | were fierce already before the election, but look at U.S. now…
One morning my son requested San Holo’s, “Light.” We knew the artist from a passionate track, “Victory,” so were eager to play our son’s request. Thanks to #SoundCloud our car filled up with the catchy melody and tender lyrics–ringing like a longing in my own heart: “I just want to see the Light”
How can music banish a bad mood and transport us to a place where problems, cares, fear, sometimes even pain (and certainly time) don’t exist? For a moment there’s just that beat, or lyric line, or bass, or …plug in your own thing– it’s magic. I’ll be feeling down but if a song comes on that rocks, something changes–and even babies know the feeling:
Melodies can spark our spirits, balm our hearts, mirror something of our soul, and sometimes floor us. Who needs Ecstasy when some tracks are flat-out orgasmic?
And Music also heals Socially…
Just think: when we rock to the same jam, things like Race, Gender, ‘Status,’ etc., disappear. Love takes shape in a sea of people grooving. Unity, peace, joy, no fear, no shame, No Problem.
How do we have the bible in every language and version (e.g. NIV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, …), study guides, teen/mom/soldier/woman/early reader styles, Comic Bibles…. and still miss the main message?
I didn’t know I owned so many bibles–granted, I’m a self-proclaimed recovering pharisee so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it wasn’t until a friend visited from a country where being Christian is a crime and her daughter longed for a bible, that I really got thinking.
The world puts people in boxes: you’re female so you feel like this, you’re Christian so you think like this, you’re American so you act like that…
God likes to mix things up to help break the social/tradition walls we build between people. Just consider the movie Hidden Figures(based on a true story) where we see brilliant, computer-like brains placed in– not just black, but black, female bodies– in 1960s America. LOL, God is such a rebel…
Our lives have been marked by boundaries: the boundary of the womb, the boundary of the crib, the boundary of the skies… and we push these walls, kicking against the dark in the uterus, climbing out of cribs, dreaming of flight and touching the heavens.
It seems like all boundaries–from the glass ceilings to the Berlin Walls, were meant to be destroyed…
But some of the greatest walls rest in our Hearts.
In Racer X like Jesus (Part 1), I shared how you can hear from God in unexpected places: timely counsel from a neighbor, that special song in the store, the wisdom of your kids, the breeze on your skin.. I got unexpected lessons from Frozen (5 Lessons I didn’t See Coming), so an encounter in Speed Racer should’ve been no surprise.
But once your spiritual antennae are up, movie dialogue touches deeper than simple script. Here were 6 gems I pulled:
God can use anything to get our attention, from a song on the radio, to a kids movie. As a recovering Pharisee (aka, avoid-anything-not-blatantly-God), this was hard for me to accept, but Disney’s Frozen blew my mind (5 Lessons from Frozen I didn’t see coming here).
I recently saw “Oz, the Great and Powerful ” (2013, with James Franco), and it was chock full of heart lessons. Here are three that touched me, and I hope you too. (Warning, Spoilers!):
Today my son was cranky. Going out for breakfast with four children– three of them 4 years and under– isn’t easy or fast and my eldest was annoyed. “It’s too druk!” he protested (Dutch for busy/hectic), and I tried to soothe and encourage him. I shared about family from the perspective of The Incredibles (many God-lessons come from kids movies, like Frozen), noting that when they fought side-by-side they were the strongest. But my son didn’t want to hear, much less see me.
I suggested he walk ahead so it was like I wasn’t there, but he started to cry: ‘You are always there!”
The world got quiet and slow and in an instant I had a heaven-flash…
Is this what I said to you, God? Is this why we can’t “see” You? Did I not want anything to do with You and, didn’t trust You had my best interest at heart, and, from eternity, was totally fed up with “Your Presence”?? Ouch.
One of the saddest glimpses into God’s Heart comes from this paragraph from Paul of Tsarsus:
A picture with caption “true friendship” and heart dog emojis came on my twitter feed. Many replies read “awwww,” but my heart broke when I saw it…
Did people chose to overlook the life status of this pair? Maybe it wasn’t popular to burst the love bubble with, “But they’re homeless!” Whatever it was, only one of the many replies said: ‘I wish I knew where he was so I could help.’