I have heard it said and have seen it played out and have experienced it myself that we all interpret our surroundings through our own filters. We come to the table with preconceptions that make up a world view. This colors everything we encounter. I know that is how I see Christ in places where non-believers don’t.
I don’t know the intention of the writers and producers of the movie, but I saw a wonderful depiction of salvation.
We went to see Tangled the other day and I was actually moved to tears during what I call ‘the conversion scene.’ I see the salvation story clear as day during the lantern night when the song with the words, ‘I see the Light,’ playing.
Rapunzel lived a life of fear. Her ‘mother’ told her that people would want to use her and that the world was full of ruffians. The leading man lived for greed. He’d been orphaned and uncared for as a child, and saw wealth and solitude as the ultimate goal. Both lives were miserable.
The lyrics included phrases like ‘see the light,’ ‘the world is shifted,’ ‘live for love’ and ‘because I met you.’ Of course, this is a children’s fairy tail, so the you to whom they are referring is one another. It is romantic. But as I watched, I was covered in goose bumps because for me the you is Lord. All the phrases in the song had new meaning when praising the Lord.
The metaphor was taken one step further when immediately following this scene was temptation back to their old lives—he to greedy thievery, she to fear and mistrust. It was beautiful!
Later when I was talking with my kids about the movie, they made a related note. My son compared the witch in this movie to the guy who held Quasi Moto captive in Notre Dame. Both self-proclaimed adoptive parents held their respective children hostage by painting the world as a dangerous place, full of evil people who are selfishly ruthless. My son’s point was the irony that the biggest danger and the most selfish people in the victims’ lives were their own ‘protectors.’ While acknowledging that both characters were knowingly deceptive and employed fear tactics for control, it also led us to another discussion. People often see people as being most like themselves. This means that we can find that trusting people are often trust-worthy. Greedy people feel that everyone is out for a piece of themselves. So the two antagonists also see evil in others, when their own hearts are so very dark.
I love it when movies cause so much thought and discussion!