I was wide awake in the middle of the night last night; and what did my mind start racing about? Fairy Tales of course. In our house we read lots of fairy tales; because my daughter is obsessed. Lydia loves to hear the same stories over and over again and lately she has been stuck on three. The first is Cinderella, a classic almost everyone is familiar with; the other two are actually African Folk lore that were made into picture books. One book is called Talking Eggs by Robert Souci, which won a Caldecott honor in 1989 and the second is Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe. If you have not read these books, check them out of the Library and read them to your children and be ready to grab your Bible.
As I laid awake last night meditating on these stories we have had to read over and over again and wondering why my daughter was hung up on these stories; I had an ah ha moment. These stories all have a similar undergoing theme. They all tell the story of someone who humble, bears up under harsh treatment, and in the end is exalted because of their meek, gentle, and quiet spirit. This is a far cry of our modern-day message of be proud, do what makes you happy, and stand up for yourself. These stories show girls of servitude who were mocked and ridiculed, but continued to show kindness and servitude. Hmmm.. Who does that remind you of? Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
The Story of Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters particularly pointed me of Jesus sayings in Matthew 25.
“34Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, 36I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’
37Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’
40And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’”
This story has this verse up and down. One daughter was so bent on becoming queen that she ignored all other needs in front of her. The other daughter served those that were put in her path along the way and in the end was exalted to the queen, because the King says that all the people she served were him all along.
The version of Cinderella we read came from an old out of print Golden Book of Fairy Tales and had an ending unlike any other Cinderella story I had read before. In the moment I didn’t make the connections while reading this story. But last night I had my Ah ha moment! In this version the step sisters ask for forgiveness. Not only does Cinderella forgive them, but she gives them a place in her palace. Once again this points our children to Jesus! We were so unworthy, we mocked Jesus like the step sisters, but when we see his glory and ask him for forgiveness not only are we forgiven, but we are seated with Christ in Heavenly Places and he is now preparing a place for us in a Kingdom that will have no end.
So anyways, last night I just marveled at the fact that I can even find truth, beauty and goodness and point my children to Christ by reading fairy tales. We don’t need to moralize these stories, we can just simply open the Bible afterwards and point our Children to Jesus.