January 8, 2018

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.” –Galatians 5:22-23

Being a father of 3 daughters, I must confess, I have seen a lot of movies about princesses. One of my favorite movies that I have seen lately is the 2015 live-action version of Cinderella. It is a beautiful adaptation of the classic story that has captured heats for so many years. It was a successful movie, by all accounts. It grossed over $543 million. There is no doubt that Walt Disney would be proud.

This new movie had all the elements one would expect of the Cinderella story. There was a lovely young girl named Ella who lived with her father in an almost perfect home. Perfect that is, until her father decides to marry the wicked step mother who brings with her two perfectly rotten daughters who become Ella’s step-sisters. Ella’s father dies unexpectedly and things change rapidly around the once picture-perfect home. Ella is now forced to work and clean all day long and at one point, her work covers her in ashes and she is dubbed, “Cinderella.” Cinderella is treated poorly, to say the least. She runs into the woods to escape her family for just a moment when she meets the price. Long story short, the shoe fits, she becomes a princess and lives happily ever after.

What I love about this wonderful movie is that the viewers are given a special glimpse into the character of Cinderella. This fairytale is by no means perfect. Cinderella’s life is difficult. Her mother dies at an early age. Her father dies later and leaves her with a family that is simply mean. The movie makes it clear that it is not the possibility of marrying a prince or even a fairy-god-mother that allows her to keep going and behave ln such a wonderful manner. The movie makes it clear that Cinderella inherits her good character from her parents. In one of the opening scenes we watch a special interaction between Cinderella and her mother. Cinderella’s mom, while sick in bed, says, “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer. Have courage, and be kind. Ella, you have more kindness in your little finger than most people possess in their whole body… Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic.”

I was delighted for my daughters to hear such a wonderful line. It beautifully expresses what we try to teach in our family. Life is often difficult. We face challenges that test our character. Sometimes there are people, like the wicked step-sisters, who seem to delight in just being mean and making our day challenging. However, we can remember the important lessons taught in this wonderful story, “Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic.”

As Christians, we sometimes need a little reminder of who we are called to be. I hope this story will encourage you today. “Have courage, and be kind.”

Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor