This past weekend, we took the kids to see the latest release of Cinderella (you know the one with all the Downton Abbey characters, the stunning, Cate Blanchett and the fabulous Helena Bonham Carter). What a visual treat and fantastic retelling of the story we all know so well.
Most girls might connect to love story line – Cinderella stays true to her character, putting up with abuse and keeping her mouth shut and then finally marrying the prince to begin her happily ever after. But that’s not what gets me about the Cinderella story.
That’s not what draws me in.
What draws me in is the mystery and wonder of the Fairy Godmother. On the surface, we may think “oh yes, the prince. That is what will solve all the problems.” But for me, more than what the prince represents, the Fairy Godmother represents something deeper than fairy tale love. She represents healing and wholeness. See, Cinderella lost her mother at a young age and even though her mother was kind and courageous and loving, there is a bond that is broken when her mother dies.
When the mother/child bond is broken or interrupted, that’s a hard bond to fix regardless of the circumstances leading up to the break.
And the bond doesn’t only get broken through abandonment or death. Bonds can break or never be formed in an active, living relationship.
For example, some mother figures are too rigid and unforgiving, while others provide few boundaries or guidelines to look to when things get tough. Some girls grow up in destructive and toxic homes with no maternal nurturing or horrific abuse and neglect. While other girls have been abandoned by their mothers.
And as in Cinderella’s case, some girls have lost their mother’s to an early death.
I’m a Christian, so I believe in God, the Father. I connect to him as male.
I also believe in Jesus. He was the son, a man. I connect to him as male.
But where can broken girls (and boys) go to fill that interrupted maternal bond? I believe God can and does heal that bond, but to a child (or a grown adult with a broken maternal bond) it can be difficult to super impose a male figure onto a broken female relationship.
Maybe sometimes we just need a Fairy Godmother. A fictional character capable of eye-popping magic. We know she’s not real, but our psyche tells us she is for a moment and we believe to our core that she can do anything…
Like, she can take all the awful mean things that other girls say to us and turn them into glitter. She can sweep away the catty looks and sideways glances in a single wave of her wand. She can turn our insecurities from pumpkins into carriages of confidence. She can wave her hand and push the doubt we heap on ourselves into the wind. She can break the bonds of child slavery and poverty and war and genocide and hunger.
And for one night – just one night – she can turn us into the sparkling image of our imagination no matter where we are in the world. The image of beauty and majesty. The image of who we thought we’d become before the world took hold and tried to choke out our innocence.
She can clean the dust and rubble off the soles of our feet and give us glass slippers.
And, no matter how old we become, how twisted the lies have changed our reflection in the mirror, how bloated and unhappy our food has made us, how wasted and sick and broken our pills and drugs and needles have made us, how thin and gaunt and abused our eating disorders have made us – no matter what life has done to us, our Fairy Godmother could show up, turn a few field mice into horses, lizards into footman and change our shabby rags into the cleanest, purest gown so that we can be presented at the ball as royalty.
Yes, that would be just fine.
Just fine until midnight.
Just fine until we wake the next morning and realize it was just a dream.
Or was it? Because when the glass slipper appears under our bed in that shoe box filled with memories, we’ll realize that we did have a magical night indeed.
That our Fairy Godmother pointed her wand into a field and made all the hurting go away. Not just for us, but for everyone.
For one night, this world was whole.
(This is not a theological discussion, debate or theory class, people – give your undies a nice firm tug and relax. People are broken, people are hurting and I haven’t even known a fraction of that pain in my life. I know I am washed clean and forgiven and blessed and yet, I still yearn for visible, tangible eye-popping magic some days. Why? Because I am a human being.).
Categories: All The Rest