Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song OR Who is your husband?

Spoilers for “The Husbands of River Song” obviously!

River Song has been a favorite character of mine since she first appeared in the 4th season episodes “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead”. From the beginning, she was a mystery. She appeared to know the Doctor intimately despite his never meeting her before. She gained his trust in those few first hours together by whispering his actual name in his ear. If you watch this show for more than a minute, you know that his name is something that is never given out, even to those he trusts very much.

She then explains that they never meet in the right order. It’s back to front. His first adventure with her is her last with him. She’s had many more adventures with his future self. She has to be careful not to reveal too much in any of their adventures together. Through the course of the series, it is revealed that River Song was born Melody Pond, a child of his companions and also of the TARDIS after a fashion. Her connection to the vortex is exploited in a plot to kill the Doctor. However, they end up falling in love instead and eventually marry.

Her story appeared to be over with “The Name of the Doctor”. Here, the Doctor and River say their goodbyes.  Before that, we see her in “The Angels Take Manhattan” where she witnesses the death of her parents. “Husbands” appears to take off from there as I get a sense that she’s mourning her parents in a way. Her parents loved each other very much. In “Husbands”, she appears to have lost faith in true love.

The Doctor himself is also mourning the loss of another companion. He also said goodbye to River in “The Name of the Doctor”. So when a knock on the TARDIS door lands him in front of his wife again, he is at first excited. However, his joy is short lived when he realizes that she doesn’t recognize him. She knows of his first twelve faces but does not recognize his thirteenth. If you didn’t know already, it had been established for quite some time that time lords only get 12 regenerations. And the Doctor had “wasted” one on his disembodied hand at the end of season four. It’s obvious she had been told this by the Doctor a long time ago.

The Doctor is even further surprised to know that she is married to a cyborg king, a diamond, and a handsome guy named Ramon. She has also had two wives. Eek!

Throughout the episode, we almost get the feeling that River was just playing with the Doctor’s feelings and was just using him for occasional access to the TARDIS.

However, we see later on that this is not at all the case. Towards the end of the episode, the cyborg king wants the Doctor’s head. He demands that River tell him where he is. She doesn’t know. The cyborg asks, “Don’t you love him?” River responds with, “When you love The Doctor, it’s like loving the stars themselves! You don’t expect a sunset to admire you back!”

How heartbreaking! We see now that River isn’t being cold to the Doctor. She genuinely believes that he is simply out of her reach. He’s larger than life. He’s thousands of years old to her two hundred. He comes from a long dead civilization. He saves millions of people at a time. And she has settled for watching from afar.

But then she realizes that the man she has been carrying on with for the whole episode is actually the Doctor and her face falls.

I have been pondering this Christmas about it’s true meaning. I’ve wrote about it before. One of the names given to Jesus is Immanuel which means “God with us”. It’s such a powerful statement. We tend to think of God as being “beyond”. He’s not “here” but “over there”. We think of him as being far off in some other dimension of existence, only peaking in once in a great while. God is too great and too glorious to bother with us, right? Surely, he has better things to do than think about me?

But what does the birth of Jesus tell us about this attitude? His name means, “God with us”. He joined himself to human existence. At the moment he was born and took his first human breath, the angelic host proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest and on Earth peace, good will toward men.” The moment that God was most glorified was NOT when he was sitting on his golden throne and donning his crown of jewels. This didn’t ring out when he was traveling the golden streets of Heaven on his pure white horse with his large sword at his side. God’s most glorious moment up to that point was when he stretched his arms and legs in the physical world, when he felt the touch of cold air on his skin. His most glorious moment was when he became flesh and was born among animals and filth to two impoverished parents. There was no fanfare. There were no news reports. Only a few were invited to witness this event.

The lie from the beginning was that God was not near, that he wasn’t really interested in us, that he was holding back. This goes all the way back to Eve. The serpent told her that if she ate the forbidden fruit that she would be like God. The implication being that she wasn’t already like God which was inherently false. Adam and Eve were made in God’s image! We are made of the same stuff!

It’s also implied that there was an inequality in the relationship. How many times have we heard a pastor or church leader tell us not to be unequally yoked? Meaning that we should find friends and/or a spouse with similar personalities and beliefs. And yet God has no problem being “yoked” with us! “My yoke is easy and burden is light.” What should that tell us? And yet we question every bit of it.

Just like River questions the love the Doctor has for her, she also doesn’t see herself as equal to him. But it is obvious that they are. She may not have been born on Gallifrey, but she is a time lady. She can regenerate. She can pilot the TARDIS. She is just as clever as he is. However, she feels like a mere mortal compared to her husband.

And what is her response to those feelings of inadequacy? She takes on other lovers. She takes them on without much regard to their feelings. As seen in the episode, she has no problem wiping Ramon’s memories when she’s mad at him. She’s also plotting to murder another husband. It kind of reminds me of the woman at the well. She meets Jesus who tells her she has had five husbands and the one she’s with now is not her husband. She runs into town to tell everybody about the man who told her everything she ever did. Which oddly enough, is similar to what River says in, “The Impossible Astronaut”. She tells her father, “When I first met the Doctor, a long, long time ago, he knew all about me. Think about that. An impressionable young girl, and suddenly this man just drops out of the sky, and he’s clever, and mad, and wonderful, and knows every last thing about her. Imagine what that does to a girl.”

So the real question is, “Who is your husband?” What are our true beliefs about God and how do they affect our lives? For me, the relationship between River Song and the Doctor has always been a mirror of the relationship between Christ and the church (as well as the relationship between the Doctor and the TARDIS). Jesus is a timelord in a sense. He can travel space and time at will. He can cheat death. He is very old. River, being conceived in the TARDIS, has a very different nature. She was no longer simply human, she was human+ (in the words of Madame Vastra). This change put her on equal footing with the Doctor.

From her beginning, her nature is questioned. Is she Melody Williams or Melody Pond? Is she just a geography teacher or is she a superhero?  Is she natural or supernatural? It appears that she struggles with this identity crisis until the very end of her life.

From the beginning, mankind’s nature has been questioned. Are we natural or supernatural? Are we like the animals? Or are we more? We question our own nature constantly. The Bible says that we are a new creation. New, in the sense of replacing your beat up Ford Taurus for the Starship Enterprise. We are truly human+.

Flashlight

On Halloween night, I felt God’s presence in an almost tangible way. I felt love and peace and grace and mercy all at once. I couldn’t help but bawl my eyes out.

I’ve been having a lot of anxiety attacks lately with lots of little triggers. I feel like I’m dying and I cry and cry and cry. Tonight, I cried because I am loved. I didn’t cry out of despair.

What brought this on? I was watching Pitch Perfect 2. Their finale includes an original song called “Flashlight”.

“I got all I need when I got you and I
I look around me, and see sweet life. I’m stuck in the dark but you’re my flashlight.

You’re gettin’ me, gettin’ me through the night. Can’t stop my heart when you shinin’ in my eyes. I can’t lie, it’s a sweet life.

I’m stuck in the dark but you’re my flashlight. You’re gettin’ me, gettin’ me through the night. Cause you’re my flash light. You’re my flash light, you’re my flash light.”

So yeah, God spoke to me through a raunchy comedy on the most “demonic” night of the year.

The Million Dollar Question

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Oy!

Did you know God thinks you’re a lying thieving blasphemous adulterer?

News to me!!! I thought God thought of me as a daughter, a princess, and a bride. I was told that his thoughts towards me are good. But, ok, you can go with that if you like….

No, wait! You know what happens when someone is told that they are no good? They believe it. And if they believe it, they’ll act it out.

The Million Dollar Question apparently is whether you will go to Heaven when you die. What a load of crap! As if the end all and be all of creation is to actually ditch this rock and live in some white-washed utopia.

These are the same tracts that got confiscated by the Treasury Department on the charge of being counterfeit million dollar bills. The charges were eventually dropped but… Oh my, how prophetic. The world knows you’re full of crap too!

This tract mentions nothing about love or relationship. It describes a legal status. You’re just a legal case to be decided. You’re a docket number. You’re in but Jack over here is out.

This tract is everything my blog is against.

1) Will you go to Heaven when you die?

Irrelevant. Do you know Jesus now? Do you know his voice? Go read my post about The Hunt, an episode of tlThe Twilight Zone. Heaven is revealed through our relationship with Jesus. Not saying there isn’t a plane of existence called Heaven. What I’m saying is that Heaven is in us at all times.

2) Have you ever ….?

I just wrote a little bit about the nature of sin at the end of my series on The Ugly Stepsister.  Sin is NOT about right versus wrong. It is about life versus death. God is not keeping a list and checking it twice.

3) Going to Hell is not God’s will.

Ok, it isn’t. However, simply going to Heaven isn’t either.

4) Jesus paid the price.

Because God just needs to be bought off?

5) Repent and God will give you eternal life.

How about God gives you eternal life to allow you to repent?

6) Read your Bible daily and obey it.

Of course, you should read your Bible. BUT the Bible is NOT the word of God. Jesus is. We obey Jesus, not the Bible.

Blamelessness

Note that “this week” means two years ago…. I’m trying to clear out some drafts…

This week in our small group we are talking about blamelessness.  In Genesis 17, God reaffirms his covenant with Abram.  God says, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.”  Out of context, it would appear to be an impossible command.  Considering the previous chapter is all about Abram and Sarai’s indiscretion with Hagar, definitely impossible.  However, in the next few verses, Abram’s name is changed to Abraham as well as Sarai’s name to Sarah.  Their identity is changed.  What is added is a breath, a “ha”, which is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

This is a sign for us. To walk blameless, we need to have our very identity changed by the Holy Spirit.

Matrix Revolutions

Watched Matrix Revolutions the other day. I think I figured it out. Neo lets Agent Smith take him over. Smith thinks he’s won. But it’s only through taking on Smith’s form that Neo is able to spread his essence to all the Smith duplicates and shatter them, leaving behind the people (and programs) they once were. Reminded me of I Cor. 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

Because, in the same way, Christ took on the sin of the world and died. Right then, the power of sin and death was broken and the veil was torn, allowing the Holy Spirit to spread throughout the Earth.

The Ugly Stepsister – Part 3

Trigger Warning: Emotional Abuse, Self-Mutilation, Suicide

To me, the Ugly Stepsister represents a spirit of religion. She is incapable of receiving unconditional love. She’s incapable of recognizing individuality and unique talents in others. She molds herself to the religious culture of the day. In the Bible, Jesus talks about cutting off your hand if it offends. People think this means that we should cut out any pleasure or activity in our lives that might offend even the tiniest notion of some imagined rule.  Jesus was NOT advocating self mutilation. That’s horrific. He was saying that if you follow the law, you must do these things.

Jesus didn’t preach Grace. He preached the Law on steroids. Oh, you don’t commit adultery? Have you ever lusted after someone? You’re not a murderer? Have you ever hated someone? He revealed that sin was a heart issue, not a moral or ethical issue. Some great atrocities have been committed under the guise of ethics or morality. It doesn’t make them right. Following the Law can only fix the superficial issue of right versus wrong. It can’t fix the heart. So, with that mindset, it makes sense to cut off your hand or foot to fix some offensive part of yourself. Just like the Ugly Stepsister felt she needed to cut off her toes and heel to fit the shoe, we feel the need to cut off anything that might make us offensive to God. But God is saying that he gave us those things for a reason. Stop trying to wear someone else’s shoes!

A great teacher I listen to repeatedly says that the spirit of religion and the spirit of suicide are one and the same. The enemy of our souls would love nothing more than to work us to the bone, until we are nothing but dead, dry bones. But why does someone commit suicide? Because they tried and failed to hold themselves to some standard. The problems that arose from holding this standard appeared insurmountable.

The Ugly Stepsister is the epitome of working to earn someone’s love. We think it’s sad and desperate when a person does it for another person. But, for some reason, we think it’s noble and praiseworthy when we do it for God. She even goes so far as to physically mutilate herself. How many people these days are suffering from eating disorders and shelling out millions of dollars for plastic surgery? And why? Most of them think it will be the final piece of the puzzle that will turn a switch on. That when they are “thin” or “beautiful”, they will suddenly be confident, they will suddenly be loved by someone that matters. But the more they sacrifice, the worse they feel. Some feel their breakthrough is after the next hurdle. When they jump it, their standard has changed and they are nowhere close to it.

And we do the same for God. We fast from food or the internet thinking God will come closer when we give up our pleasures. Let me tell you now. It’s not necessarily impressive. Jesus gave up his Godly nature and was brutally murdered to be near us. Maybe, just maybe, if you can match that, Jesus would be impressed but I doubt it. Obviously, some things need to go like drug and alcohol addiction. However, it’s not a prerequisite to be loved. It’s arises out of true repentance. The nature of repentance is to gravitate towards Jesus and away from everything that takes your eyes off him. It’s nature is of simply turning on a light to see in the dark and realizing a poisonous snake had been waiting for you to come into the dark, familiar kitchen.

I’ve said before that the story of Cinderella has a  great prophetic significance. Whatever the origins of the story, it has come to symbolize the greatest story to me. As believers, we are like Cinderella. Our transformation comes from the Holy Spirit like Cinderella was transformed by the Fairy Godmother. Prince Charming searches for his bride just as Jesus searches the mountains and valleys looking for us. The stepmother represents Satan trying to steal our inheritance. Her daughter/s represent trying to earn love through dead works. The Prince doesn’t even acknowledge it to the consternation of all that would try.

The Ugly Stepsister – Part 2

Trigger Warning: Emotional Abuse, Self-Mutilation

So what does this have to do with The Ugly Stepsister? Whose stepsister am I talking about and why is she ugly? Well, in most tellings of the Cinderella story, the main character has a mean, ugly stepsister. Nobody really gives her much thought when hearing/reading/watching the story. We’re mostly focused on Cinderella and her journey. We give almost no thought to the fruitless journey of the stepsister. We forget that she has goals and life aspirations. She has ideas on where she wants to end up in life.

The ugly stepsister ($USS$ for short) is the daughter of a gold digging aristocrat. Her mother ($USM$), presumably after bleeding her last husband dry, sets her eyes on another wealthy aristocrat, the father of Ella. $USM$’s goal is to live comfortably and secure a nest egg for her daughter. Her new husband is bled dry physically and financially, leaving behind Ella to deal with $USM$ on her own.

Ella is merely an obstacle. $USM$ doesn’t want Ella to inherit her father’s estate (or what’s left of it). She wants it for herself and her daughter. $USM$, being the master manipulator, slowly nudges Ella out of the picture. The years go by and people have forgotten about Ella, the aristocrat’s daughter, and now only know Cinderella, the poor servant girl who can’t seem to quite make $USM$ happy but is kept around supposedly out of $USM$’s compassion. Meanwhile, $USS$ is fighting her own battle. $USM$ is ultimately a narcissist. She has her “golden child” and “scapegoat”. You can guess which is which.

Being the “golden child” is not as fun as it seems. While Cinderella is learning that the world is cruel and unyielding, $USS$ is learning that to be loved, you have to perform, play a part, and be a shell of your true self. Nobody will love the real you. Nobody cares about the real you. The only thing people care about is what you can do for them. She sees the example of Cinderella and how she was punished for daring to be herself, for daring to ask for unconditional love and affection. Seeing Cinderella’s position taken away, $USS$ is quick to play the role as happy daughter from a wealthy family lest the same happen to her.

It’s really a sad life for both the true daughter and the stepdaughter. Both are being abused although in vastly different ways.

When the invitation for the ball comes in the mail (or by courier, or carrier pigeon, etc), they both react in regards to their upbringing. Cinderella dreams of a one night escape but does not, in any way, shape, or form, expect real lasting change. She puts together some scraps from old dresses and manages to look somewhat decent for the occasion. She has no thoughts of even looking at the prince, let alone touching him or talking to him. The whole time, she is being punished with extra chores for daring to have a desire outside the four walls of “her” estate. You can read “Midnight Again” for more details.

At the same time, $USS$ brushes up on her acting skills. She needs to play the part of a beautiful, cultured heiress worthy of the royal hand. She buys the most elegant gown and the most glamorous shoes she can find. She works on her elocution. She practices the most modern dances. She gathers intel on possible competition. Remember, love is a competition. Especially when you’re basically the same as the next dame. And, to them, the prince is just the same as any spoiled royal brat that only cares about a pretty face and good hips for breeding. So it’s really only fair that they play along.

When it’s time to leave, they have molded and trimmed their personalities and individuality to be a perfect princess for the prince. All regardless of what they want or like or how they feel and totally without regard to the feelings of the man they want to seduce. The prince is just a means to an end. They don’t want love. They really want power and security. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a terrible wish to have but ultimately destructive when it means manipulating the feelings of a flesh and blood person.

You can imagine their shock and confusion when a new “contender” enters the arena, I mean, ballroom. Anybody who is honest with themselves knows there is only a handful of well-connected, manicured women of noble descent who are a good match for the prince. This woman walks in with a gown that outshines the most elegant of the elegant and crystalline shoes that sparkle like twilight. Remember that this is Ella who everybody has forgotten about. If there was anyone that the competition shouldn’t have worried about, it was Cinderella. Cinderella! The servant girl who tended the sheep and maybe was a little too scrawny, with a vacant face most days, and was always covered in pig shit and soot.

The prince is immediately enamored. He dances with her and her alone. The rest of the girls are seething. All their preparations were for naught. It’s all down the drain for a stranger that has never shown her face in court or society in general. If only they knew the true transformation that was beginning in this girl’s heart. For Ella, it’s not a transformation that takes away her soul. It’s a transformation that reveals it. She’s put no work into this at all. She’s paid no money, taken no classes, made no connections to be there. She’s not even looking for the prince. He’s the furthest thing from her mind. She doesn’t even realize who she’s dancing with!

However, midnight comes along. Fearing great punishment from the mysterious woman who brought her there, she flees. The other girls’ relief is short lived when the king and prince call off the rest of the dance to find her. After everyone is gone, they find the crystalline shoe.

The news spreads. The prince is looking for the owner of the shoe. The shoe is custom made. It will only fully fit one girl’s foot. The palace guard is going home to home having all suitable women try on the shoe. Most women have given up on the idea of marrying the prince so they try on the shoe with a morbid curiosity. However, one family has not given up. $USM$ and $USS$ are determined to fit $USS$’s foot in to that shoe. I’m sure if they had Google, they would have researched foot binding. But they can’t predict whether the foot will be too big or too small.

In at least one version of this story, $USS$ is cutting off her toes and heel to fit in this shoe. She literally has no concept of individuality and uniqueness. She completely misses the point. She’s thinking, “Fit the shoe and win.” She’s thinking that if she makes this one last sacrifice, she’ll get love and security. The prince, however, is looking for that face, who has a hint of recognition when she sees the shoe, who looked so exhilarated to be dancing and having fun. A face that doesn’t look like the person behind it is on a mission.

As we all know, Cinderella fit the shoe and also had the other shoe. Depending on what version you read, $USS$ suffers many different fates, from living as a spinster to becoming Cinderella’s servant to having her eyes plucked out by a bird. I’d like to think Cinderella forgave her and counseled her on what she learned from her own journey. And, after a few years, $USS$ became a little less ugly and a little more her true self and found someone to share her life with. I’d also like to think that $USM$ learned the roots of her control issues and and received love and security from her daughters.

The Ugly Stepsister – Part 1

Trigger Warning: Emotional/Physical Abuse

Have you ever tried to make someone love you? It is a pretty exhausting business. You fall all over yourself to make them happy and it never seems to be enough. There is always a part of them that is closed off to you. You deny yourself and sacrifice your desires to keep that person happy. Soon, you can’t even remember what you used to enjoy by yourself. Your being becomes wrapped around the existence of this other person. You smile when they’re happy and frown when they’re sad. However, you’ve forgotten how to register your own emotions. You don’t even realize that the other person rarely, if ever, does the same for you. Their happiness or sadness just doesn’t depend on you.

I see three possible outcomes of this behavior and none of them end well.

One: The other person is completely oblivious to your actions. They go on about their lives while your personality and individuality is eroding away more and more each day. They register no effect. However, you’re now a shell of a person. When they eventually leave your life, you become unglued. They were literally the glue that kept your identity together and he or she vanished. You have no choice but to break.

Maybe you find something or someone to glue it all back together but you’re never the same.

Two: The object of your affection DOES notice all the sacrifices you make for him or her. But this person is unscrupulous. He or she just sees you as a servant, a way to get his or her needs met and nothing more. This person cares nothing for your needs and makes no sacrifices for you. You feel that if you just make one more sacrifice, he or she will open up their reserves of love and affection.

This often turns abusive. With you becoming a doormat that he or she can wipe their dirty, diseased feet on. They take total control and you are so ready to let go because you’ve been practicing for the months or years you’ve been pining for this person.

Either they kill you (physically, emotionally, or spiritually), or get bored of you and move on. Either way, the other person has stolen an irreplaceable part of you. You lose your trust and faith in humanity. After all, you’ve poured yourself out and have gotten nothing back.

Three: VERY, VERY rarely does it work out that the other party receives this attention with open arms and returns the affection. And what I mean is that this person went from not acknowledging your existence to loving you in one leap. And what does this person get? You’re hollowed out from trying to emulate him or her. You’ve lost parts of your personality. You’ve spent months, maybe years, warping your personality to match the other person. Your true self is not going to magically re-emerge now that you have your lover in your arms.

At first, it would probably be a very exciting experience. Your lover has someone that focuses their attention on them constantly and all your hard work has paid off. But you don’t have that spark that makes you stand out from the rest. After all, many people could do what you are doing for them. You’re just as capable as the next doormat.

It gets boring and you both drift apart. Again, your life is in pieces. It’s worse than a flat out rejection from the start. You think that if they loved you before, you can work even harder and sacrifice even more to keep them in love with you.

And it should be no surprise that we treat God the same way. We have 24/7 prayer houses.* We organize fasts and feasts. We have our traditions and rituals which read more like spells and bewitchments at times. “Maybe if we plead the blood of Jesus five more times, because five is the number of grace, this wart will finally fall off! I really feel that this is the Lord’s leading!”

*What is the idea here? Do they think breaking the 24/7 cycle will bring about the apocalypse? But, wait, don’t they WANT the apocalypse to happen so Jesus can come back? So confused. Anyway…

Religions have risen and fallen all based on the idea that if we do things just so, God will begin to love us. God will come and be with us. God will come and speak to us and teach us.

Christianity (and most religions) will never come right out and say it. I mean, we have a verse in our holy book that says, “God is love.” So, it’s not like we can come right out and claim that we need to work for God’s love. But we twist and torture our holy book to make it say the dumbest things. My mother used to tell me that interracial marriage was against the Bible. Lord knows what she would have said about gay marriage. It’s been 20 years, mom, I still haven’t found that scripture. RIP.

What’s even more amazing is that we KNOW that it doesn’t work in human relationships. We’re always telling abused partners that you can’t change your significant other. But we think God is so foreign and so alien that he’ll fall for it. We forget that he created us in his image. We are his image. He is more like us that we can ever imagine. Jesus was both fully God and fully man.

It’s not that God doesn’t love us. Far from it. However, he has never ever been impressed with our efforts to earn his love, or woo him, or turn his eye to us. He knows that we are finite beings. He knows that we can only pour ourselves out so much before we are bone dry. He also created us with an individual personality with unique gifts and talents. And it breaks his heart when he sees his children molding themselves into some cookie cutter model of a Perfect Christian ™. It saddens him when we give up our unique talents and pleasures because they don’t fit in with the current religious culture.

He also knows that the god they are molding themselves to doesn’t exist. They mold themselves for a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and/or genocidal god. They pride themselves on being white (or the dominant ethnicity of that region) or being rich, or being straight. “Surely, god loves us more because we’re not part of ‘that’ group over there. In fact, I think god would be pleased as punch if we just eradicated them all. In fact, it’s just being kind to put them out of their misery.” I said before on this blog that evil (link) is simply the idea that God needs our help in running things. It starts out innocently enough, like a junior high crush on the star quarterback or head cheerleader. But, before you know it, there’s the Spanish Inquisition. They are not as unexpected as you may have been led to believe.

Is Cinderella Feminist?

TW: Abuse, Slavery  (I don’t use these often enough.  I apologize.)

I came across a very interesting post last night.  You can read it here.  To summarize, the author argues that Cinderella is not a good example for young girls to follow.  Everything in the movie happens to her.  Almost none of the action is motivated by Cinderella herself.  For the most part, I agree.  But I would also say that this is kind of the point of the story.  Cinderella can’t do anything for herself.  This story is hundreds of years old.  The movie is set in a different century.  It is set in a time where women did not have a voice.  The system she was in was so oppressive and so harmful towards women that there was no recourse for Cinderella.  It literally takes a higher power to break her free.

Deep down, Cinderella is a deeply abused girl. Most movies and books present her as a generally happy, cheerful girl. But, imagine the trauma she must have gone through! Her parents die when she is young. She is ripped from her comfortable surroundings to live by the fireplace. Her entire life is taken from her. Her station, her belongings, her autonomy, etc are taken. That would traumatize anybody. Not to mention the beatings she must have received. Cinderella is really a lesson on why abused girls stay in bad relationships.

Cinderella could have left anytime she wanted, sure. Just walk out the door and leave. But who would take care of the animals, even Lucifer? Who would take care of her father’s estate? How would she make a life for herself in a time when women had to rely on their husbands? Would she just end up a servant in someone else’s home? Again, it literally takes an act of God to set her free. Here’s a wonderful post giving some possible reasons that Cinderella stayed.

Now you could argue that the message is still misogynistic. It does kind of give the impression that a woman just needs to find the right man to be happy. But, if you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know that I see a deeper level to the story. Because I don’t see the Prince as just a man. I see him as Jesus Christ and the Fairy Godmother as the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes, and I would argue most of the time, it takes the power and love of God to change your identity from that of a slave/victim to that of someone who is dearly loved and cherished. The Bible says in Psalm 113 that God lifts the poor up from the ash heap and seats them with kings.

Maybe Cinderella was dreaming her life away according to the post linked in the beginning. But her identity was built on being a slave. A slave has no autonomy, no agency, no power to act on their situation. That is, until a higher power comes along to break the illusion. Maybe it’s not some ecstatic vision of God. But maybe it’s a friend, a teacher, a coworker that says, “Hey, I see something great in you.” and acts for you and with you in your situation.

I’ve argued on my blog before that the power of the Fairy Godmother wasn’t transformation from one thing to another. It was the power to reveal who you truly are. The Fairy Godmother didn’t see a slave. She saw a beloved daughter of the King, beloved bride of the Prince, a beloved princess of the people. When we get a hold of that revelation of what we truly are, we are unstoppable. In Colossians 2 and elsewhere, the Bible says that we have the fullness of God within us. What power we have! If fully realized, we could change the geography of the planet spiritually and physically. We could make women safe and loved and give them power beyond imagining whereas they would spend most nights just dreaming.

So, is Cinderella feminist?  I can’t give a complete answer because I’m not completely familiar with feminist thought.  But what I will say is that Jesus Christ is looking to set women free from bondage.  He wants women the world over to realize the power they have in Him.  If feminism is about giving women power, then look nowhere else but Jesus Christ.  He is the source of all power.  I also believe that Jesus Christ respects all forms of femininity.  Jesus Christ didn’t make women to just be baby factories.  Proverbs 31 describes a faithful woman who not only takes care of her home but does business and works in the community.  She is wise and respected.  Even the city leaders have respect for her.

Some women work at a career.  Some women stay at home to raise their children.  Some women do both.  Some women cut their hair short.  Some women wear their hair long.  Some women wear traditionally masculine clothes.  Some women wear dresses and buy expensive makeup.  Some women do both.  Some who are biologically female identify as men.  Some who are biologically male identify as women.  Some identify as both or neither.  I don’t believe that Jesus Christ is looking for cookie cutter women.  He is looking to build up his body with many different parts.  One person may be the middle finger, another the small intestine.  Both look very different.  Both function very differently.  To expect the middle finger and the small intestine to look and act the same is ridiculous.  It is equally ridiculous to expect two women to act and look the same.

I think Cinderella is a representation of all women.  We have all felt powerless and without the ability to do anything about our situation.  Sometimes, we are able to break free ourselves.  Other times, I would argue most times, it takes the restorative power of Jesus Christ to break free of our bondage.

A Prophetic Word For My New Pastor

Previously, I wrote about the Three Little Pigs. The straw house represented the unbeliever who put his hope in worldly things. The house of sticks represented the new believer who begins to build his identity on Christ but still has a foothold in the world. The brick house represented the mature believer whose identity is grounded and rooted in the finished work of Jesus Christ. What we had was a brick house. It was good and strong. It kept the enemy at hand away.

But a new thing is coming. What was once a brick house will become something much greater. What I saw was the starship USS Enterprise. The Enterprise D in fact with Captain Jean Luc-Picard.  What was their main foe? That’s right! The Borg!

Let’s examine this. The Borg represent a society of increasing sameness and control. Their catchphrase is, “We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.” They go from world to world, assimilating individuals into one collective. Everyone is the same. Free thought is wiped out.

They come across the Federation which is made up of many different persons from many different planets. It is a vibrant community. There is no control. Free thought encouraged.

In a world that says, “Assimilate or cease to exist,” we will be a light in the dark. We will be a vibrant community made up of many different nations. We will go out and free people from the world system. We will strip off the artificial pieces of their identity. We will strip off the parts the world told them they needed to survive and belong. We will rebuild their identity based on the word of Jesus Christ.

I also felt this was for the family as well. The Enterprise name was a name to be praised and feared. The Enterprise name lasted for centuries. I felt like the family name would be famous for His name for centuries and it would begin today. Maybe not the name but the legacy would last for generations.