This week the world tuned in to watch a modern fairytale come to life. All eyes were on Harry and Meghan as they held a royal wedding at Windsor Castle. In the aftermath, and even before the day was over, every petty and sarcastic comment to express how much ‘no one cares’ was made. What is it about us that we cannot celebrate with anyone who doesn’t walk in the same social sphere as we do?
This article will not bash the royal family, Harry and Meghan, or the spectacular wedding day they enjoyed. In point of fact, I shared their happiness as did a huge number of British citizens who camped out for days to get a glimpse of the royal pageantry.
You can pat yourself on the back at how much you don’t care and make disparaging remarks over any number of things about it. But, who are you to rain on their wedding day?
Can we not see this as a delightful metaphor for all of us? What value may we place on a fairytale? Just as Yeshua (Jesus) taught in parables, might we try and see beyond the envy and holier-than-thou attitudes that animate the snarky and disparaging comments leveled at the entire event? Can we see this as a parable, a metaphor, for what we all carry in our hearts? Can we not believe they are entering a marriage based on love?
Just because their wedding was beyond what we common folk have, does that mean it was trivial to them? They are just human beings like ourselves. So-what that they happen to have an enormous wealth and privilege that we, in America, find hard to grasp! Can we really justify our disdain because we can’t relate to it?
Or can we?
How many people flooded Chicago when the Cubs won the pennant? Did people gather to celebrate the inauguration of a President? Do people tune in to the Academy Awards, or get excited for the premier of the next Star Wars movie or the like? How about American Idol? The Super Bowl? Miss America? Pick your event that touches your heart. You know you have your favorites, so why lift your nose that the ‘Royals’ are unworthy of your interest?
What satisfies your personal fairytale? Is it the rags to riches, pauper to king theme that beckons to your spirit? Is it overcoming life-threatening events? Or are only Royal Weddings relegated to ‘fairytales?’
Speaking of fairytales, what is it about a fairytale that resonates with us? I know, our current culture vilifies the stories like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. God forbid we should tell our daughters and sons that there is such a thing as true love, or happy-ever-after! Maybe we should just crush their dreams of an ideal because it doesn’t reflect real life.
I have news for you. The princess thing is not going away. Just look at how Disney has capitalized on this. How many little girls are fascinated with being a princess? I dare say it would take a conscious decision on the part of the parents to discourage this fantasy. And why should we, really?
What does the fairytale tell us? A person who is enslaved (Cinderella), hated without cause or due to envy (Sleeping Beauty) or dead (Snow White), can be rescued by ‘true love.’ We all bought into that phrase when we fell in love with the Princess Bride…why do we begrudge anyone from that in real life?
Most fairytales tell us that the noble and selfless Prince falls in love with the young maiden that will become his bride. He will rescue her and carry her off on his white stallion to live forever in his kingdom.
Does this sound at all familiar to you? Is it simply a fairytale, or is it telling the story that resonates within all of us?
Those of us who are seeking the Kingdom of God view the whole thing in a similar, if not identical, fashion.
We who are lost, broken, dead in our sins, asleep, or slaves to sin, yearn for the perfect Prince (of Peace) to rescue us from our circumstances. We even picture him on a white steed (see Revelation), coming in power to vanquish the enemies of life eternal; to remove the forces of darkness that prevent us from living in and with Him! His perfect love will give us the happily-ever-after of eternal life in His Kingdom. Who doesn’t long for that, ye that call yourselves ‘believers?’
So many of the events that occupy our attention fall in one or more facets of the perfect fairytale. You can figure it out. What was the 108 year drought before the Cubs won the pennant? (Sounds like echoes of Rip Van Winkle to me.) How about American Idol? The Prince and the Pauper? Rags to Riches? A nobody becomes famous! A commoner joins the royal family.
So many parallels that you really must suppress the ideal from your lexicon to call it a fairytale. And how many of the things Americans are consumed with focus on love and marriage?
It used to be that little girls sought a man that would fulfill her desire to be loved and cared for. It used to be that love was the goal instead of hooking up until the next new thing comes along.
It used to be that we were happy for people who were in love and marry each other in front of God and everybody. Why should we NOT be excited for the institution of marriage, even if it is done in a lavish fashion few of us can hope to enjoy?
I don’t know if Harry and Meghan will live happily ever after, but I sure hope they do! And I tuned in for their wedding! It was a lovely affair that expressed love, culture, tradition and celebration. It was fun to see marriage treated with respect and elevated as an event worthy of interest.
When is it horrible when people come together to share and celebrate with two people who are in love and choose to vow a covenant between them until death?
As the minister that spoke at their wedding said, “Two people fell in love, and we all showed up.” I prefer to show up for love and commitment, regardless of the magnitude of the event.
Congratulations and best wishes, Harry and Meghan.