Recently, my family and I took advantage of a rare opportunity to catch the movie, a Disney classic, Cinderella. This 2015 version used actual actors and actresses as opposed to the animation used in the original. The heart-warming, tear-jerking elements were just as effective, if not more so. The ill-treated, kind Cinderella still got the charming prince and lived happily ever after. ( I’m sure of it!)
Watching the movie with real people doing the acting made an impression that the animated version didn’t make. We saw the sadness in Ella’s eyes as her mother spoke her last instructions to her child – instructions that set Ella apart from so many others: live life with courage and kindness. We saw the emotional results of stinging, disdainful words spoken by the wicked step-mother and her two self-absorbed daughters. We saw hope and love rise as a kind prince recognized the worth of another human being. We saw despair and then delight as Cinderella was told she would not go to the ball and then received a second change by a rather silly fairy godmother. We saw the hesitancy in Cinderella’s eyes as she stepped into the presence of the Prince wearing shoddy servant’s clothing. It was here that the narrator’s words grabbed my attention.
Quietly, the narrator spoke some very important words. She said that sometimes the greatest risk you can take is letting someone see who you really are. Cinderella (so named by the self-seeking, flippant step-sisters because of the ashes on her face and clothes from cleaning the hearth) was not really a meager servant girl, though for all intents and purposes, she appeared as one. When the prince asked Cinderella to try on the slipper, she responded, “If it fits, will you accept me just as I am?” To Cinderella’s question, Prince Charming answered, “If you will accept me just as I am.” And we know that they committed wholeheartedly to that condition.
My interest was piqued here because I was reminded of Jesus’ invitation to those that God sends to Him. Each one who comes to Jesus seems to take a great risk by offering their imperfect selves to the perfect Son of God. In our mortal minds it seems very risky, but actually it is as safe as a butterfly’s kiss in the eyes of our loving Lord. When we accept Him as He is, the perfect Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords, we can rest assured that we have made the safest, best-ever decision.
The movie, Cinderella, is a classic because the main character takes the high road at every hurtful instance. Kindness prevails. Love rescues. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) The prince sees the value of the innocent girl who was forced to live under a wicked ruler and chooses her even though she is not “officially” royalty.
That makes me smile because King Jesus chose me, just as I am, a commoner, a sinner, and I accepted Him just as He is, the perfect Son of God who rescued me (and you) by dying on the cross for our transgressions. (Hebrews 10:10)
Have you let Jesus be your Prince who comes to rescue and save? What steps are you willing to take to accept His invitation to step into royalty?