My son loves Mary Poppins.
Seriously, he just loves the movie, and I’m pretty sure he has a Toddler’s crush on the young Julie Andrews. He stands and applauds every time she descends from the clouds to accept the position as nanny to the Banks family.
Needless to say, I’ve lost count on the number of times we’ve had the DVD playing in the household. I’m sure we have it on a couple of times during the week, and once or twice on Saturday. He loves it! After about the upteenth time seeing it, I started doing some theological reflection on the movie.
Yes, I was that bored. But, my son loves the movie and I love my son. One of the most precious moments I have is when he climbs into my lap to watch it, so watch it I shall.
Therefore, I’m planning on putting some of my Poppin-Reflections up in this space. If this doesn’t catch your woohoo, neural tickle spot, then I understand. It’s taken me over a year to get into it. I don’t expect anyone else to find a lot of meaning in this. 🙂
Ok, so here is the first thing… Mr. and Mrs. Banks.
The movie starts out with the current nanny heading out the door. She is fit to be tied over the children running away from her, and after a loose kite. The house maid is trying to get her to stay, while the cook is glad to see her go. Seriously, the cook cracked me up. They needed more of the cook in that movie. But, I digress…
In comes Mrs. Banks. She is just returning from a Woman’s Suffrage Rally. All she can do is talk/sing about it, the whole time that the nanny desperately wants to let her know of the missing children, and her own immanent departure. The nanny practically has to yell to get her attention. Mrs. Banks just seems to refuse to hear her.
Fast-forward to Mr. Banks. He also comes in singing about his day at work. Yes, he’s a banker. Mrs. Banks tries to tell him of the absent children, but he also seems to be unable to hear her. I’m starting to see a theme.
It made me think of the absentee parents out there. Believe me, a parent can be absent while being in the presence of their children. I know this as surely as I know the scar upon my hand from a catfish incident. They are so obsessed by their passions (work and liberty), they are missing their most important priority. They are missing their children, and it takes someone busting into their lives, practically yelling into their face, to get them to realize it.
I am currently Thirty-six years old, and my first time seeing it was as a very young child. When I wiki it, I see that it came out in the early 1960s. All this to say that the problem of Present-Yet-Absent Parenting is still going strong. Combine that with the truly Absent Parent, due to work/divorce/death, etc. you have the potential for great wounds upon tender hearts.
When will we get it? Jesus prioritized children. God gives priority to children, counting them as pure blessing. When will we stop giving lip-service to the most important thing God has given us. God has never called us to sacrifice our children upon the alter of work or altruistic passion…even if that passion is ministry, liberty, whatever.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. I could grow the biggest church to have the largest impact upon this world; yet I would be a total failure if I failed in my duty to sacrificially love my wife and children. Anything less than total commitment to them is total failure. My Lord calls me to it, it is his priority for my life. It is my highest calling.
Next Installment: We Are Not A Codfish…