Last night we watched the Disney version of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. When Cinderella appears in the ballroom at the top of the grand staircase, and the music stops and all eyes go to her, I whispered to Matt, “Every girl wants her Cinderella moment.” After watching for a few more moments I added, “Usually she gets it on her wedding day.”
All cynicism, explication and modern day feminist implications of the fairy tale aside, most girls do want that moment.
Where they enter a room and for that second they are the most beautiful creature in the world. The whirl of dancers stops and everyone is hushed and staring, and directly in front of her is someone looking back who thinks she is the most wonderful being he’s ever known.
In the arms of my love I’m flying, over mountains and meadow and glen…
That’s one of the 5,000 reasons I love weddings. I love getting to see women have their Cinderella moment. Love making sure the flowers and table cards and favors are all as perfect as can be, and love joining in the holy hush that comes over people when the bride appears. And for that time, she is the most beautiful creature in the world.
There are between 340 and 3,000 versions of Cinderella, crossing cultures from Asia to Africa to Europe to North America. Obviously there’s something about this rags to riches tale that makes it endearing no matter if the character is helped by an elderly spirit and magic fish, black oxen or a fairy godmother.
I read John Elderidge’s The Sacred Romance a number of years ago, and I think he hit it pretty spot on when he explained why little girls (and grown up little girls) are so entranced with fairy tales. We do crave a hero, and we all want to be beautiful. We want a prince to come and rescue us even if we think we’re perfectly capable of rescuing ourselves. Because on a deeper, spiritual level, we are incapable of saving ourselves. Our souls are not the glittering pure things we wish them to be and there’s nothing royal about our base nature. Only the Prince of Peace is able to slay the dragon and rescue us, wash us clean of our filth and clothe us in His robes of righteousness, making us worthy to be the Bride of Christ.
On a more literal level, having parents or a husband or someone who is willing to do anything to be your hero is a mortal, imperfect but still wonderful glimpse of the kind of God we serve.
Last November, three days after we found out we were pregnant I was stuck at work during a snowstorm and waiting for Matt to come get me so we could try to make it to the airport. Even though we missed our flight, I never wondered if he would turn around and head home for the night because it would be easier and more comfortable. I knew he would get to me as soon as humanly possible, even if it meant leaving his car on the freeway and walking through the storm.
Anyways, those were the thoughts floating through my head last night as I watched Whitney Houston transform Brandy from a house maid into a princess. Maybe not every woman will get her Cinderella moment like she hopes. Life has not been kind to many women, and heroes are hard to come by these days. At least (or maybe I should say at most), we have a Savior who desires our love, who made us as the pinnacle of his beautiful creation and who wants to be our Hero and King.
So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he [is] thy Lord; and worship thou him.