Last Saturday, I took all the kids to see Trolls. My older two just love their little siblings so much, they couldn't bear to be away from them. Mmm, or they just love the cinema, popcorn and sweets, so they were happy to come along.
It was a great movie and one we will probably buy or rent now it's out on DVD. The four year old obviously loved Pink haired poppy, who was full of sparkle and joy, and musical harmony. What's not to love? She scrap booked with glitter. Needless to say, the songs have been sung daily since, with older brothers joining in. It's like Frozen all over again. You can't quite admit that it was a good film, but you sing along...
One of the things I liked about Poppy was how positive and joyful she was. She always looked for the silver lining, somewhat naively at times, but she believed the best of people, and when she got beat down, she had a higher perspective, and she sung about it. On the way home, I told my kids how Biblical it was. They raised their eyes from the back of the van, I'm sure.
God doesn't ask us to be positive all the time. In fact, He encourages us to cry out to Him, to be real with Him, even if that means we're angry. But He does ask us to bear with one another, which means He must realise we have a tendency to bug each other. And He does ask us to "Rejoice always", and to "think about whatever is true, honourable, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, just and worthy of praise". Poppy fills her mind with the best thoughts about the other trolls and the circumstances she finds herself in.
During one comical scene where she pretty much nearly gets eaten by every imaginable creature, she is looking pretty rough and beaten, and she is trying to still sing and still have a smile on her face. Sometimes we do that. Someone might ask us how we are doing, and we put a brave smile on and usually say we're fine, rather than be honest with our struggles. If we are to 'bear one another's burdens', we could probably do better at letting them know what our burdens actually are.
The best bit for me, as it was probably written to be, was just after Poppy loses all her colour and the desire to sing, because she has accepted sadness and defeat. At this point she is encouraged by a friend, who understands her. He gets her to lift her gaze, from the darkness inside, and reminds her of the true colour she has within her. It's a lovely moment of friendship. Helped even more by the voice of Justin Timberlake.
Recently a friend at church, who is very different to me, in loudness and chattiness, gently encouraged me to be who I am meant to be. She literally lifted my gaze, and spoke such truth to me that it honestly returned my colour.
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing".
1 Thessalonians 5v11
As with singing 'Let it Go', when arguments happen in our house, we now seem to be singing 'True Colour' to one another. Sometimes I watch one of my kids lose their colour, and as their mum, I want their colour to return brighter than ever, so of course I encourage them. I try to get them to see God's purpose for their life, to lift their gaze. I may even sing to them, (which sometimes tips them over the edge). But sometimes I just have to hand them over to God and ask His colour to shine brightly in their hearts. His truth. His love, His joy to make the difference.
How can you encourage your children today? Have you told them what makes them full of colour? What about a friend? A spouse? A work colleague? Or even a complete stranger?Don't wait until they lose their colour to encourage them, go sing at them, and throw glitter at them. (I cannot be held responsible for the throwing of glitter at random strangers).