Monday, November 14, 2011

#12: Transformed

Cinderella, 1950
watched November 6, 2011
(c) Disney
As a classic Disney underdog protagonist, Cinderella lives in very sad and cruel circumstances. Yet, she is beautiful, kind, loving, diligent, optimistic, and a little bit sassy (which I didn't actually notice until this viewing). Hence, there are endless reasons we have to love this character. I mean, c'mon, she makes adorable little outfits for the mice she rescues! How can you not wish for all her dreams to come true?

But beyond just really liking Cindy, all of us probably also connect with her on some level. I know I feel that same deep longing she feels when she so beautifully sings, " matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep believing, the dream that you wish will come true." Amidst deep sadness and pain, her hope and resilience astounds me.

Cinderella reminds us that transformation is possible, that we don't have to settle for loneliness, loss, oppression or injustice. And in a world where these things are the norm, it's no wonder that her story has transcended time and culture.
thought this was a funny moment. she looks so surprised!
But where does transformation come from? In the past, I have been critical that Cinderella is so passive about her situation. Perhaps I've watched too many modern adaptations of Cinderella and have become used to the independent, wily versions of her character (think Drew Barrymore in Ever After). Why doesn't she run away and escape life with her evil stepmother? Surely her birth parents had relatives or other friends that could have cared for her. When she cannot go to the ball, why does she sit crying, instead of finding some way to get there on her own? When she gets locked in the attic, why doesn't she try to climb out the window or break out?

I guess I'm willing to look at it differently this time around. Perhaps Cindy could have tried to break free from her oppression, but there are many situations in real life where this is not an option. The Fairy Godmother grants Cinderella her deepest wishes when she is at her lowest point. I see a faint glimpse of the One who grants us true transformation when we were completely powerless to do it on our own. Jac and Gus painstakingly haul the key to the attic up the stairs so Cindy can claim her identity as the wearer of the glass slipper (and the one whom the Prince loves). I hear echoes of the One who endured pain and suffering so that we could claim our identity as the bride of Christ.

The Cinderella story is a fairy tale of oppression, transformation, rescue and a happy ending. But it's merely a small sliver of a true story, the one about the God who rescues us from sin and slavery so that we can live in freedom and joy.

Stay tuned for more Cindy posts!

1 comment:

  1. i wish this blog had a "like" feature. :) i really enjoy reading every post and taking this disnerd adventure with you! :)