I’ve been a lover of fairy tales since I was a kid. The fantasy of happily ever afters and the drama of quests and conflicts has enthralled me for years.
One of my favorites is Cinderella, the story of a young girl who, through kindness and courage, lived through loss and rejection to find her happy ending. One of my best-loved scenes is when the glass slipper is presented to her two stepsisters, and they do everything possible to make it fit. Discomfort is cast aside–they would wear that shoe no matter what the cost. They were invested in the results–they wanted to marry a prince.
Cal, at two, is growing quickly. He has several shirts that fit him easily a month ago, but now they’re a bit small and hard to force over his head. Getting them on is a lot easier than taking them off. His ears get stuck, his eyebrows squish together, his face resembles a potato as it’s mashed into a shape it wasn’t meant to be. He’s not a wicked stepsister, but if the shirt doesn’t fit, it’s time to let it go.
That’s never easy to do. When children are young they grow out of clothes quicker than they can wear them out. If it’s an outfit that is particularly special to the child, it can be a challenge for them to give it up. A special princess dress, a pair of comfortable shoes, a shirt that’s soft, and reminds them of a special day spent with family; things that provide memories are hard to give up. We’ve invested.
I tend to hang onto things past their usefulness. I have an old pair of tennis shoes that I’ve worn holes in the toes which I don’t want to throw away. I want to get as much wear out of them as possible, and I don’t want to regret getting rid of them. What if I need them to take a walk in the rain?
They’re no longer helping me. They’re most likely contributing to my back pain. My feet are grateful when I take them off. Why keep them?
The same reason we all hang onto things past their usefulness. We’re invested. I paid good money for those shoes. They should last longer.
The truth is we grow out of many things in life that we need to discard. Old shoes, clothes that don’t fit or don’t look good, or ideas that no longer work for us. Ways of thinking that aren’t relevant to our lives now. Belief systems that have proven false.
There’s a lot of anger and divisiveness in our world that comes from all of us being different. Differences make us the beautiful tapestry of humanity that we are. But we’ve chosen over the years to invest in ways of thinking that don’t always value each person as God intends each of us to be valued. We don’t see the wonder of our differences; we only see the inconvenience of those who aren’t like us.
God sees each of us as beautiful. Made in His image. Full of hope.
Isn’t it time to see others through His lens of love and let go of ideas that minimize some?
Love is always the best investment.