Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cinderella

     Twenty one years ago, my friend Janie  asked me to pray for her neighbor, Lori, who had just given birth to her fourth son.  As the mother of three boys the same ages as Lori’s first three, I understood completely why she needed prayer.  Shortly afterwards, at a church potluck, Pat and I met Lori and Denis and the four of us became close friends.
     God has a sense of humor.  The Lori and I who did not know each other, had married the man of our dreams on the same day, honeymooned in Disney World in the same hotel, had mother-in-laws named Florence, and gave birth to sons, and only sons, in fairly rapid succession.  The only way for either of us to have a daughter, was for me to adopt our Patty.  Our boys played soccer together.  Lori’s were the talented ones, mine, unfortunately, had their mother’s athletic prowess.
     Over camping trips, shoe shopping, family dinners, celebrations, weddings, and hospital visits, our lives and hearts have been knit together with love.
Keke Palmer was Cinderella and Sherri Shepherd the Wicked Stepmother.
     Lori and I were even born just three days apart.  Each year we celebrate our birthdays together.  It has been harder since we lost Denis three years ago right before Lori’s birthday.
     Last week, Lori and I went to see the Broadway musical Cinderella.  The music was by Rogers and Hammerstein, which means the songs were the ones that we remembered from childhood.  Cinderella was a movie that came on once a year starring Leslie Ann Warren.  I remember, my wonderful teacher assigned it as homework.  It was the best homework ever!  Oh, how I loved that movie.
     Lori and I were transported to France in the days of Princes, Fairy Godmothers, Ball Gowns, sparkly shoes, white horses, and Royal Banquets.  It was magical when Cinderella’s rags changed into a sparkly white poofy tulle gown complete with tiara and updo before our very eyes.  Lori and I were amazed. We could not figure out how it was done.
     I was once a freckle-faced, tinsel toothed Cinderella rescued by a young prince named Jack.  You can read the fairytale Embracing Your Cinderella, The Ball, and Midnight.
     The story of Cinderella is something everyone can relate to.  Feeling alone and unworthy, working hard for people who just don’t appreciate you, the monotony of doing the same things day after day, being treated like a servant instead of the child of a King.
     But God gives us beauty for ashes.
    In Bible times it was a custom for people to, like Cinderella, sit in ashes during times of great mourning or difficulty.  But the scripture says that God will take our difficult, depressing situation and give us beauty.  He will pick us up out of the ash pile in life and make something beautiful out of us.  He will wrap us in the white robe of salvation.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.  With justice he judges and makes war.  His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.  The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean…. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:  King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  ~Revelation 19:11-16
       I pray for all of you a true fairy tale ending.  May you marry the Son of the King.  I will see you at the Banquet.
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