Hope you’ve had a good week. We are settling fairly smoothly back into a routine. I oddly went to bed at 4pm on the boys’ second day of school. I was fevered and felt awful. By God’s grace I woke up fine. My mom told me I used to run a fever when I was little if I got overly tired. Doctors scoffed, and told her that wasn’t possible. Am I still proving them wrong? I don’t know. Anyway, we are looking forward to the weekend, and I hope you are too!
Did you see any good movies this summer? I go to the theater a couple of times a year. I’ll take Sam to Marvel movies, and I honestly like almost all kiddie movies. But movies are not typically part of any routine. I can flip through Netflix or Redbox and not have a shred of interest in a single title. Somehow boarding an airplane changes all that. I strap in and scroll through the selection, and practically every film seems worthy of my captive-audience time. I watched three movies this summer on flights — Ben is Back, Crazy Rich Asians, and The Green Book. They could not be more different but I liked all three.
At the theater I saw Toy Story 4 — our family always sees Pixar movies, and then the live-action versions of Aladdin and The Lion King. That’s six movies and I didn’t hate any of them, which is cinematic success in my book. Toy Story 4 and Aladdin both followed the era’s standard formula, along with the Marvel movies, of making the female part the strong leader. Do young girls out there find that encouraging? It feels so strained to me, so artificial, and already so tired and predictable, that it’s almost insulting. Characters need to be relatable. I’ve never met anyone like Bo in Toy Story 4 or any of these girl power figures. There’s suspension of disbelief and then there’s absurdity.
I’m all for girls being strong. I was raised to believe the sky was the limit. I have a law degree, and I don’t feel intimated by the success or accomplishments of others, but the best, most important, most rewarding, most challenging, most world-changing job I know is being a mother. You can be a confident, intelligent, physically strong woman — and a mother — and there’s no need to impose a burning desire to go around kicking butts and taking names like some kind of superhero. When did physical domination become a goal? It strikes me as one of the silliest notions out there — and we live among an awful lot of them!
Anyway, thankfully, Lion King broke the mold. The writers mostly resisted the urge to make every worthy hero feminine. In fact, they pretty much stuck to the story, and even, with a couple of exceptions, the music. The ritual scenes with all of the real-life animals bowing to the king were terrific. I think something deep inside us recognizes this is a reflection of the true story. We will gather and bow before the One True King. That scene sparks such emotion in us because that’s our actual destiny and we know it. We will fall on our knees in worship, and it will feel beautiful and inevitable and any crowns we have will be laid at His feet.
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:8-11 ESV
But it is never about compulsion. Jesus doesn’t ever force you to love Him. It’s always our choice; that’s the only way love counts. But when we behold Him in all His glory, we won’t be able to resist. The truth will be so apparent that we will bow; we will be awestruck and humbled by His radiance and love. In part this life is our opportunity to respond to a lesser glimpse of Him, the glimpse that is always accompanied by two ever-present whispers, “I love you” and “Trust me.”
Praying you love Him and trust Him today, even when you only know only part of the story.