Who says Disney movies are for kids? A wise man once said “Rules are for children and stories are for grownups.” The movie Frozen proves this point. We might laugh at the idea of having a super power, but let’s face it, most of us have been frozen at some time in our lives.
Elsa exhibits the common fear of an oldest child. Some say the first born as the practice child who is subjected to the parent’s fears as they are learning to parent. There is a joke about a mother who refused to get dirt on her first baby, she washed it off the second and actually threw her third child into a mud puddle so she could finish her household chores.
Perhaps this joke is not that far fetched. Maybe parenting is progressive. First born children have been said to exhibit more fear than their siblings. Whether this is due to being first and having to make a path in society for the rest to follow or because of over-protective parenting, we might never know, but such fear exists and Elsa in Frozen is the poster child.
Elsa’s fears began with a traumatic incident in early childhood where her sister almost died. It was her special gift that caused her sister’s pain and because of this, Elsa has been asked to control her super power of making ice. She spends her childhood trying to reign it in. The lyrics she sings could be a hymn for many Christians.
“Don’t let them in, don’t let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.”
How many relationships might have been saved and compulsive addictions never started if people were allowed to just be themselves. Many Christians grew up wearing a mask. It was considered essential to please other people and make their families or the church look good. But masks never heal, they only harm the wearer. Jesus sees down into all of our dirty, sneaky little hearts and He loves us anyway.
Elsa has been wearing a frozen mask while a storm is brewing inside. She is afraid to unleash, but once she does, there seems to be no way to undo the damage. There comes a time in every life we need to take off our masks and stop trying to be perfect. Healing will never happen until the false image is gone and we can finally be ourselves.
While we don’t have the same type of super powers as Elsa, many of us have been told to keep the family secrets and not to speak truth because it might hurt people. For some of us speaking truth is our super power. And whenever you have any kind of a super power, there is bound to be someone who resents you using it.
Like Elsa, many of us have let it go. Our super powers of telling the truth or whatever they might be seem to be a disaster. Some are hurt by our honesty, others are angry and some don’t want to hear the truth. If we all stopped speaking truth, it would help no one.
At this point many of us have withdrawn like Elsa. We spoke the truth to the people we loved the most and the reaction we got back was hostile. Sometimes it was name calling much like the people in the village calling Elsa evil. When we are attacked for being our honest selves, we need to find a safe place to go. Elsa went to the top of a mountain where she felt like the queen of isolation.
Whether people shun us for using our super powers or we withdraw, like Elsa, we are tempted to isolate. It’s not healthy to be alone, we were created for relationships. When Elsa was all alone and threw everyone out, the shards of ice started to fall in on her too. While it’s true, God promises to never leave us alone, we still need healthy people in our lives. We need to fight the isolation and find healthy community.
I love the fact that Anne did not need a man to save her, but she was able to save herself through other-centered love. This is the deepest truth of all. For Anne to wait for a man to kiss her and save her would be self-centered. When she risked her life to save her sister, she discovered the greatest love of all. God has designed the universe to thrive on the natural law of unselfish love. This is the kind of love Jesus demonstrated at the cross.
There comes a time in every life when we need to stop being the compliant, mask wearing child and start using our super powers for good. The basic concept of this tale is true in the real world–an act of pure love really will save us. It’s only by being honest with ourselves that we can stop waiting for someone else to solve our problems. When we use our freedom to do an act of pure love and risk self to love another, we will find our own healing.