Thursday, 28 May 2009
Oh you SHALL go to the ball!!
One of the children came around the classes this morning, with a lost shoe - a real Cinderella moment! It reminded me of the message I gave during our first Significance Conference - particularly significant for me as I was battling depression at the time.
Am I really beautiful? Do I really matter? Am I really worthy? Does anyone notice me? We all have such unique stories, situations, set-ups. So many different needs and desires, all of us at different stages of this incredible journey called LIFE.
All of us (boys, you will have to close your eyes and move on - this is girls talk;) ) were once a little girl. – from the tomboy to the girly princess – and we all heard the Fairy Tales. And to greater or lesser degrees we have been swept up into a romance, imagining ourselves playing an irreplaceable role in a great adventure where we are the Beauty of the story. But we grow up very quickly and enter an adult life filled with responsibility, pressures and demands – the reality of life pushes fairy tale dreams a million miles away. You find no romance except in Mills and Boon (does anyone still read these?), no adventure except on Coronation St, you doubt very much that you will ever be the Beauty in any tale (unless Botox is on the cards) and there’s no fairy godmother waving her wand over the dirty dishes. Probably all of us aren’t living the life we imagined we would be when we were little girls!
Well I believe that the story of Cinderella is extremely relevant to our lives as women – it’s about a real life struggle and it’s also about a real hope that things can change. Our hearts are so important to God and as women we can so easily push them to the side because we have learned not to listen to them. We’re afraid to discover who we really are. Our hearts get lost in the busyness of life. Life can harden our hearts, break them, wound them, bruise them, cause them to be bitter, heavy, lonely– we all have different heart conditions and really God’s message through Cinderella is about the recovery and release of your heart. God wants our true selves set free. He wants us to be real.
I really wish I could 'preach' this to you - but let me skip to the best part - the end...
Cinderella is in the presence of the Prince because he invited her, he chose her, he made the way for her to be with him, he sought after her.
“So long as we imagine it is we who have to look for God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about – He is looking for us” (Simon Tugwell) Our relationship with God is like a dance. God asks us, the wallflowers, onto the dance floor. We don’t have to go pursuing; He pursues us.
Right there, in the arms of God, is where He envisioned us when He thought of us. Jesus is pursuing you. He knows what takes your breath away, knows what makes your heart beat faster. In the arms of the Prince we are accepted, worthy, desired, important and significant. All of her life Cinderella has tried to find her self worth in what she does, her busyness, through the approval and acceptance of others, in roles and responsibilities, in how she looks etc (ring any bells??) and now she finally realises that her life has worth because the Prince has given her the kiss of approval and is teaching her to see that. Cinderella is finding her worth in the Prince.
When He pursues her with the glass slipper, it's so significant. The Prince has in his possession a mould of you that no-one else can fill – no-one else can fill your shoes, nothing compares to you, you have a unique role to play. George Macdonald describes that there is in every human heart a place that God alone can fill. But there is also a God’s heart a place that you alone fill. “It follows that there is also a chamber in God himself, into which none can enter but the one, the individual” You. You are meant to fill a place in the heart of God no-one and nothing else can fill. He longs for you.
God wants to live this life together with you, to share in your days and decisions, your desires and disappointments. He wants intimacy with you in the midst of the madness and mundane, the meetings and the memos, the laundry and lists, the projects and pain. He wants to pour his love into your heart and he longs to have you pour yours into his. He wants your deep heart, that centre place within that is the truest you. He is not interested in intimacy with the woman you think you are supposed to be. He wants intimacy with the real you.