Today’s blog post is written by Cassie Murray. We heard from Cassie in What does ROOM do?~ by Cassie Murray and To the One Who Doesn’t Feel Brave… by Cassie Murray. Cassie is the Country Director for ROOM Honduras, managing the people and programs that seek to empower children and families in Honduras’ orphan care system. Cassie is a mother to four children and is wholeheartedly pursuing the adoption of her fifth. While serving as the Co-Director of ROOM’s largest Transition Home in Honduras (along with her husband, Kyle), Cassie welcomed infants, toddlers and children into her home, mothering them right beside her own. It’s not surprising to learn that she gains so much inspiration from children’s movies. Today’s blog reminds us of the big things we can learn from children’s movies, and the kids who watch them. This also presents a great opportunity to steward our children’s passions and interests in making the world a better place.
Currently I am sitting in the living room of a cozy, two-bedroom apartment breathing in the uncharacteristically cool evening air. (By uncharacteristically cool I mean that I am currently not dying of heat exhaustion) I am surrounded by the stillness of night and sounds of heavy, restful breathing of the 5 children sleeping in nooks and crannies of the remaining spaces unoccupied by furniture or stuff.
We didn’t set out to live this crazy life. Not many people do. I never could have dreamed to plan something as outrageous as living in San Pedro Sula, Honduras with my 5 kids (what?, when did I get 5 kids?) while Kyle takes care of life at least 3 borders away. Yet, here we are. And you know what? Many times its the crazy love I have for these kids that has inspired us to be obedient to the crazy love we’ve been asked to show others.
In fact, I’ve learned so much from my kids. Just recently, ROOM launched their newest campaign called the Sugar Project. My 11 year old daughter, Harper, thought of this concept all on her own and the gravity of that shakes me to my core. I’ve quoted 1 Timothy 4:12 as many times as possible to win a good ol’ fashioned Sword Drill.
But how or why am I still amazed at what kids know? Or what kids can accomplish?
Just as much as kids are inundated with misinformation and terrible doctrine, they are presented with opportunities to develop really solid characters. This thought made me think through some of the profound lessons with Biblical legs my kids have been presented while I drive, cook dinner, or sit beside them on the couch. I’ve compiled a list of my favorites:
- “Some people are worth melting for.” ~Olaf, Frozen
This quote has some serious Biblical merit…sure it’s a magical snowman that can walk and talk..but Olaf also understands sacrifice. Love is all about sacrifice; which is why John told us that, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Seems that Olaf understands a few things about life, even though he’s just water, sticks, coal, and a carrot.
- “Oh, yes, the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it.” ~Rafiki, The Lion King
Sometimes Disney movies seem more like they are for adults than kids; I mean, our hope is that most kids do not have a past that they are trying to run from. However, I’ve met kids with pasts so hard, I can imagine they would love to escape into the jungle to eat bugs with Timon and Pumba. Rafiki even used the running theme that Paul used as he instructed the Philippians about running the race set out for them saying, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining towards what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Whether you are an imprisoned disciple or some sort of ape-like creature, everyone understands that no one likes extra running. Running the race set out is enough without adding extra mileage by trying to avoid a past that has been redeemed.
- “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” ~the Emperor, Mulan
ROOMs blog, Become Part of the Story, relays story after story of the beauty in redeemed lives. I love that we serve a God who promises to bring beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3). In fact, one of my favorite quotes is from Elisabeth Elliot where she says, “Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God’s story never ends with ‘ashes.” We are promised that we will have hardships (John 16:33) and we are promised that He will be victorious. From the Emperors perspective, Heaven is going to be quite the garden of rare and beautiful flowers.
- “You think the only people who are people are the people who look and act like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” ~Pochahontas, Pochahontas
Pochahontas gets a little sassy in this song. I love it because she says some pretty hard stuff to hear, but it’s easier to swallow with a catchy little tune. I think Jesus would sing this song to the Pharisees. In the Great Commission, Jesus instructs His disciples to go into all nations. All. And you know what, I know that Jesus knew/knows that worship would look a little different on each continent. I know that Jesus knew/knows that all the things we allow to divide us regarding tradition and culture would be difficult for some of us to navigate. But He told us to go. And love. The irony that John Smith was learning this from Pochahontas is not lost on me. I also think that the table-throwing side of Jesus would appreciate the irony as well.
- “Even miracles take a little time.” ~the Fairy Godmother, Cinderella
How quick are we to give up on miracles? I’ll be the first to admit that the minute things seem like they are not going to play out, I lose hope. It’s a great quality. I’m super-proud. But the Fairy Godmother was turning pumpkins into carriages and mice into stage horses right in front of Cinderella’s eyes and she still stood there with a hint of expectation and impatience. Reminds me a little of Thomas AFTER JESUS ROSE FROM THE GRAVE AFTER BEING CRUCIFIED ON THE CROSS and Thomas was all, “unless I see it myself, I won’t believe” (John 20:24-29) and Jesus had to go over and show him the scars. One of my friends shared what has quickly become my favorite verse that helps remember, in those moments where I am quick to lose sight, that I serve a God of miracles: “And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” (Job 26:14). If all the blind seeing, waters parting, dead living, and Savior resurrecting is just the fringe of what He is capable of then I can wait. Yep. Miracles are worth waiting for.
- “Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that doesn’t make you who you are. It is the rest of your story, who you choose to be…” ~Soothsayer, Kung Fu Panda 2
This movie, really, the whole Kung Fu Panda series, has been one that has really impacted me in my new role as a hopeful adoptive mother. I watched this movie just recently with my kids and I just cried. Adoption is beautiful. And hard. The reality is that the emotions are complicated all around. This series did a great job of capturing the heart of the adoptee, the adoptive parent, and biological parent. The final series just conveys God’s heart for the redemptive plan for adoption so perfectly. When Po can finally reconcile, “Who am I? I’ve been asking the same question. Am I the son of a panda? The son of a goose? A student? A teacher? Turns out, I’m all of them.” Paul tries to help the Romans understand a similarly poignant concept of sonship in Romans 8 when he writes, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry,’Abba, Father.’ 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Paul tried to reconcile for us the fact that we can be fully human and sinful yet coheirs with Christ! In many ways, we are all a bit goose and a bit panda. It’s a tough concept to grasp; I see why it took three movies for Po to figure it out.
- “Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” ~Grandmother Willow, Pochahontas
I know I already quoted Pochahontas but Grandmother Willow just gets it. I think she is going a little soft on Pochahontas because my heart wants to scream IT’S NEVER THE EASIEST ONE…but I’ve already screamed in bold once in this blog and that is just me being frustrated with waiting on miracles. But the reality is, the Matthew wrote, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (7:14).
Sounds Feels like a pretty difficult path. But, to quote Sid the Sloth from Ice Age, “I choose life.”
All of these quotes are just a silly way to remind us parents that our kids have opportunities to learn good character every day. We are surrounded by excuses to run and hide and fear the worst. But we hold the power to change the future just by empowering our children to use their voices.
How are you empowering your kids to use their voices? What issues do they care about?
If you are looking for a way to steward them into service, consider joining our Sugar Project this summer. We are raising a generation of World Changers!