As may have been the case for you and your family over the recent holidays, the Mallett family sat down together to watch the odd movie or 3 – not-the-least-of-which was a viewing of the movie hit – Encanto.
Spoiler alert – please don’t read on if you have not yet watched the film and intend to do so.
My reasons for sharing such is in relation to the key messages which result, and how applicable they are to our children and us! The story goes……….
Following a tragic incident, Abuela Alma Madrigal has been blessed with a miracle in her candle that gave refuge to her family in a magical Casita. Fifty years later, the Madrigals are a respected kinship wherein each member of the family possess a unique ability. That is, except Mirabel (or so thought). While Encanto may be typically described as a light-hearted comedy, it has several meaningful underlying messages. The film sheds light on personal struggles with vulnerability, self-acceptance, and embracing imperfections. Every viewer can relate to Mirabel’s journey of self-discovery that leads to a gratifying ending – Mirabel too, finds her worth, meaning and purpose.
The reasons I reference this story and movie ‘Encanto’ is that, whether intended or not by the writers and producers, I personally see parallels in and of our Christian walk and lives. It is an excellent film that can inspire its younger audience to recognize their own gifts and potentials. Overall, the film is a beautiful amalgamation of laughter, adventure, light mystery, music and dance. But most importantly, I reference this film from the perspective of inclusivity, compassion, care, grace and love – all of which result through life’s ups, downs, twists and turns.
So what does literature and scripture say about the 3 core premises of self-acceptance, vulnerability and imperfections?
Why do I need to accept myself? Self-acceptance enables you to understand and be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. By accepting yourself, you open the door to self-care and a much more positive attitude towards who you really are. This will create the opportunity to develop and improve yourself and your life.
Self-Acceptance – “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Vulnerability – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Imperfection – Is as great a natural truth as mortality. … Perfect imperfection is seeing the beauty in something that others miss, this makes it perfect as “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. You do not need to “deal with” your imperfections, only to look at them in a new light and see that they make you perfect.
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48
We are all gifted in many and varied ways. I thank God each day for the special and unique gifts and talents of our students, parents and staff. Some have been gifted in the arts, some gifted with sporting talents, some in areas of academics, others with the ability to connect and share. My plea……. acknowledge and praise our creator God for who you are and how you’ve been shaped and created with the gifts you’ve been given. No one individual is the same – even identical twins have slight variations and differences.
Even on the tough days, those days when you may not feel like getting out of bed and you feel that life is so much to shoulder, know that you are not alone and have been uniquely made in His image. Our creator God’s unconditional love, grace, peace and mercy surrounds and abounds. For this we can be thankful. In the movie Encanto, there was imagery of a ‘magical’ candle which ‘kept the fire burning’ in the hearts and lives of the family.
Well, we too have a wonderful ‘candle’ that lights our path and that is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus. Look to the light and, like Mirabel, you too will find your way, your meaning, your purpose, and your reason for being. Leave it in His hands.
St John’s Lutheran primary School – Bundaberg