Hopefully most of you have already seen the movie Shrek, this alternative fairytale story about a princess who falls in love with an ogre and is secretly one herself. Whether you loved that movie or hated it, there are a few winning qualities about it that hit me the other day when I was driving. I realized that God is our Shrek. It sounds crazy but let me explain.
In the movie Shrek there’s that scene where Robin Hood and his men appear and he grabs a hold of Fiona thinking that he’s saving her from some beast. This is right before a pretty cool and unexpected fighting scene but apart from that there is also the fact that Fiona is faced with a decision. She can continue on this journey with Shrek, this journey that to other people watching might seem dangerous and crazy but that eventually led to her happiness. Or she can take this safe route and perhaps fall in love with one of the Merry Men or a real prince and possibly live happily ever after. Maybe she would actually become a princess instead of an ogre. She had a choice to make, just like we all do to choose a risky journey that could give us everything or a Merry Man.
You might ask, “well, what’s wrong with having a Merry Man”, well in response I say, that’s a weird question but I’ll answer it anyway. The Merry Man liked Fiona because of her appearance. To them she looked like a Damsel in distress who needed saving and taking care of, so when Fiona fought back against them, revealing more sides to herself, they weren’t pleased. Meanwhile Shrek fell more in love with the different sides of her. The Merry Man isn’t dangerous, they don’t want to harm Fiona but if she had chosen them there are things about herself she wouldn’t have been able to reveal, like when she was with Shrek. Choosing Shrek she was able to learn more about herself- that she doesn’t need a prince to be happy. She was able to find someone who loved the different aspects of her. She was also able to find someone who not only loved her as both princess and ogre but also someone who helped her to love herself.
I remember that moment when Fiona realized that she was still an ogre and she was disappointed, saying “but I’m not beautiful” but Shrek was that person, that one person in the room who loved her and still saw her as beautiful in whatever form she came in. It’s him being able to love her as she is that helped her to love herself.
In the same way God is this dangerous looking journey in the wilderness and there may be people and things that come along that don’t seem and/or aren’t dangerous, alternatives that will still change our stories. Where instead of finding true love we find a Merry Man and like the Merry Men, the alternative route won’t love you like God can, accept you and help you to grow like God can. They won’t be able to see and draw out the strength in you like God can either and while they could love you, God will love you to the point where you can’t help but even love yourself.
So now that you get the image of God’s love for you, you don’t have to re-watch Shrek – I mean you can if you want to OR you can just read the lyrics to the ending song of Shrek. As you listen think carefully about your previous perceptions about love. Did you think it didn’t exist? That it couldn’t come to you? That it wouldn’t accept you or make you a better person? Or did you believe in that but only for fairytales? If that’s you I want you to know that God is singing over you that he’s seen you- not just your face but all that you are- and he is deeply and madly in love. I want you to understand that the love God has for you is sampled in that chorus,
“Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer, not a trace, of doubt in my mind, I’m in
love, and I’m a believer, I couldn’t leave her if I tried.”