My mother-in-law and I took my five and three-year-old to see Cinderella. After reading reviews and checking with friends who had seen it, I decided it was suitable. Honestly, the romance, charm, character development, theatrical costumes, sweeping soundtrack, superb acting (think Downton Abbey) and fitting simplicity of the story line will be grossly under-appreciated by most young children (including my own). It contains the expected themes – love, forgiveness, kindness, courage. But in one moment of brief suspense, when the stepmother was exhibiting her verbal cruelty to Cinderella, my five-year-old asked a question that prompted an answer that I’ve been deeply pondering every since.
She was sitting on my lap, her muscles tense. “Mommy, what’s going to happen?”
“Sweety,” I whispered with a smile. “I don’t know what the stepmother will do, but we already know how the story will end!”
Everyone who watches already knows how the story will end.
We all knew how the story would end. Everyone who watches already knows how it will end. I could tolerate the stepmother’s icy glares because I knew she would not prevail. More importantly, I knew Cinderella’s story would come to a glorious end, an end that was just the beginning.
“What happens to Cinderella in the end?” I pursued the issue while the stepmother ranted at Cinderella. Lil’ P relaxed and grinned. “She gets married.” From that point on, she had no further concerns. She knew how it would end.
This deep truth is one I did not expect to grab my attention during a ‘live action’ Cinderella. Hope. Once she found hope and believed the film would end as promised, it shaped my daughter’s perspective on the entire film. How much more so is this true of where we place our hope in life.
Jesus is the “better hope, through which we draw near to God.” For those who follow Jesus, this hope is a “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.”* You know where this hope leads you. You know where the story ends – no more pain, no injustice, no more sorrow – and a great wedding feast with the Prince of Peace. This is the perspective that gives us the hope to endure the present and persevere to the end. This is the perspective my daughter is beginning to understand.
*excerpts from Hebrews 6
4 responses to “Cinderella – an unexpected lesson”
So many ordinary moments are transformed when you have small children around, continually asking questions. And it’s usually when they’re supposed to be quiet – in church, at a movie or after I’ve put them to bed. More often than not, those are the times ‘deeper’ questions arise. At church: “Why are we kneeling?” After bed: “Can Jesus see me when it’s dark?” At the movies: “What’s going to happen?!”
Yes, someone else mentioned to me the timing of this piece was perfect for them as well. It is God’s timing and He wanted a bunch of people, including myself, the hear this. And Peggy B. is a gem! What a blessing you have her there in person:-)
Thank you for this. I praise God for His perfect timing. He is good. Peggy B. shared this post with me. Greetings from a suffering sister in Chris and an A.F. wife in Germany. I will praise you Jesus. You ARE my Hope!
This is beautifully written, friend. I love how this seemingly ordinary moment taught you a fundamental truth. Good job for not letting it slip by unnoticed. Too often I lose track of the source of my hope and mistake the rising conflict for the happy ending. Thank you for sharing this reminder with us today!