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Faith Imagined: Cinderella has Two Worlds

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

January 24, 2010

Cinderella has Two Worlds

I’ve been struggling with the dichotomy of being a Christian. In my quiet time I read about how much God loves me, how much He values me and how much He wants to bless me. He is my Prince Charming who wants to sweep me off my feet and lavish me with all that He has. Ezekiel 16.8-14 gives an amazing image of God as our bridegroom vowing to enter into a most precious covenant of love with us:

"Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine. I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put leather sandals on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was fine flour, honey and olive oil. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD" (The Message).

I have to be honest. When I read this, I feel very spoiled and loved. I know that God wants to establish each of His children as royalty and co-heirs with Christ. Whenever I feel ugly, unworthy or inconsequential, I like to meditate on these verses. They make me feel like a princess. It blows my mind that the Creator of all wants to enter into such an intimate relationship with me.

However, I leave my sweet quiet time with God and resume my life on this earth, and I don’t feel like a princess any more. . . . I feel like a servant in my tattered, threadbare rags.

I remember one particular day when I had such an amazing time with God. He filled me with so much joy, love and peace. He told me how much He wanted to shine through me and that He had a wonderful journey for me. I felt adored and valued! But then the clock struck twelve, and I had to leave my gown behind and finish mopping the floors and making dinner.

I was more than a little angry, and I asked God, “Why do You make me feel so special, and then send me off to serve this broken world and humble myself to everyone around me?”

God gave me the image of Cinderella and her two worlds. She is a servant by day and a beautiful princess by night. When her coach turns back to the pumpkin, she continues serving her family as usual, yet . . . she has a glow about her. The love that she received from her prince consumes her, and no matter the menial tasks (cleaning, cooking, working ), she has a smile on her lips and a song in her heart. She knows that one day she'll be living in her castle with her prince forever!

As God's children and followers of Jesus, we are "royal servants." Jesus sits at the right hand of God at the ball (Acts 2.32-33), but He kneels down at the feet of His followers and washes their feet (John 13.12)! Jesus is the ultimate example of this Christian dichotomy.

Jesus explained the importance of serving to His disciples: “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” ( Matthew 20.26-28 NIV).

But what is so important about serving?

Serving is the same thing as providing for needs. If you have plenty, you can provide for many needs. If you have lack, you can provide for very few needs. God is the only one who has everything. He is all sufficient. His needs are all met. Therefore, it stands to reason that to serve (provide for needs) is God-like and to take is child-like.

God made us in His image, and He allows us to serve the needs of others. Serving is our highest calling. When we serve, we are emulating our Father, the King of the Universe. But serving is exhausting, and we are only human. We will deplete our resources eventually, and that is why Cinderella's two worlds are so important. We serve and provide for those around us, and God serves and provides for us.

He takes us to the ball and spoils us. He replenishes us with His grace and fills us with His glory, so when the time comes, we can go back to the world and serve the needs of others. But there is a catch. You won’t be able to effectively and joyful serve others if you are not spending time with the King.

So slip on your pretty glass slippers and run to the King. He has a red carpet laid out for you, and He has asked the orchestra to play your favorite song. He’s ready to adorn you in jewels and embroidered gowns. And He has your favorite foods spread out for your enjoyment!

Go! Run to the King! He wants to spoil you!

1 Corinthians 9:19 (The Message)

"Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!"

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Blogger Crystal said...

Man...after just skimming over this post, I can TELL it's going to be a really good one. If it wasn't almost 2am, I'd really try and hone in and focus on it, but I'm afraid my brain processing power is just not ready to handle this post I"ll have to read it in the morning after I'm more awake. :)

2:45 AM  
Blogger Raymonde said...

Funnily enough, I work with children and during our first session with a little group this week, when we ask them what they wanted to be when they grow up, one little girl said she wanted to be a princess, so we answered is you Daddy a King, or you will have to marry a prince and then it dawned on me. My Father is the King and I am a princess! She could also be one when she accepts Jesus in her life.
So thank you for sharing and encouraging! Blessings. xxx

3:31 AM  
Blogger Little M said...

What an amazing post! I could read it again and again. I probably will! Thanks :)

4:28 AM  
Blogger 3 Blessings said...

This is exactly what I needed this morning. Thank you for writing this post that blessed me beyond belief.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Wow - this is amazing and so full of truth! Thank you for sharing this with us ... I definintely needed to hear it today. You're such a blessing!

9:45 AM  
Blogger alicia said...

This once again snowed in, house stuck, never ending cooking and cleaning mama very much appreciates this post today! Thanks for the perspective and the attitude adjustment!

10:23 AM  
Blogger B His Girl said...

I love that Cinderella keeps her glow after dancing at the ball. She serves. I want to b like that too. I have a Cinderella post coming up on video soon. I think you will relate. Blessings,B

10:26 AM  
Blogger Deborah Ann said...

That's so beautiful! I've been in both places, but being treated like royalty by the King of the Universe literally sweeps me off my feet!

12:32 PM  
Blogger Karen Lange said...

Never thought about it from this angle before. Thanks for this perspective. As some others commented, I'll have to reread this one to get the full impact.
Thanks and blessings,

12:39 PM  
Blogger Debra @ Common Ground said...

Beautiful post and analogy. It IS hard for me to leave "the ball" and go back to sweeping the floors and emptying the cinders. But how wonderful that our heart and inner life can remain with our King all day long?
hugs and blessings,

2:32 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

What a great analogy! I love this part: "So slip on your pretty glass slippers and run to the King. He has a red carpet laid out for you, and He has asked the orchestra to play your favorite song. He’s ready to adorn you in jewels and embroidered gowns. And He has your favorite foods spread out for your enjoyment!"

Hope you're having a great day!

3:36 PM  
Blogger For His Glory said...

Beautiful post. Well said. Thank you.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Midday Escapades said...

Ugh! You've touched on another word for me: servants. This one is very similar in vain to submission, two things I have trouble with. You say it so well, Alisa!

8:48 PM  
Anonymous patti said...

What beautiful writing! I guess the ideal is that we will be filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit to then pour out HIS love onto others and thus demonstrate His perfect plan.

Sigh. The key for me is letting the Holy Spirit work and not trying to control everything.

Great blog! So glad to meet a new bloggite, Alisa!!


9:24 PM  
Blogger Cassandra Frear said...

I think the main problem with serving is simply the way I view it.

Jesus came to serve, not to be served. Remember the scene where he illustrates this by washing the disciples' feet?

God has predestined us to become conformed to the image of Christ.

Serving is the position of truest honor, modeled after the One who has been honored above all.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Grand Pooba said...

What a great analogy!

10:54 PM  
Blogger Eileen Astels Watson said...

You can tell you have a deep relationship with God. Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing this and encouraging me to see how very diverse we are called to be in His image.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Dionna said...

Nice "take." There are definitely two parts of our life - each one equally important to remember!

12:09 PM  
Blogger Bina said...

"I leave my sweet quiet time with God...and I don’t feel like a princess any more."

You hit my heart with this one, sweet friend. I had a day like this, well a morning like this...and then came the moment when I broke down and told Him that I didn't feel the princess...and then my heart gasped as He moved to show me that I was...indeed, I am.

Beautiful reminder of who He is...and who we are in Him.

Love you muchly...

7:01 PM  
Blogger Melissa Miller said...

Alisa thank you for stopping by for a visit! It's always nice to hear from you sweet friend.

Blessings, ~Melissa :)

9:01 PM  
Blogger K.M. Weiland said...

Beautiful post! It's one, I think, that's evergreen. As we like to say, "real" life gets in the way so often. But what I think we sometimes miss is that the spiritual life God gives us - the "princess" feeling - *is* the real life!

2:55 PM  
Blogger Bernadine said...

Beautiful post Alisa... As I read the part about Cinderella serving her family with the glow still about her the different scenes from the movie actually came to mind (yes, I do love fairy tales:)). Thanks for the reminder that there is joy to be found even in the seemingly menial parts of life.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Cindy Bultema said...

You have such an amazing gift with words! Thank you for the beautiful visual! I'm off to slip on my glass slippers!!
Many blessings to you and your ministry!!
Cindy :)

7:03 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

this is beautiful...and real. You balance it with the day to day living. Awesome. Sarah

8:22 PM  
Blogger Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

Cinderella is my favorite Disney character. What a great analogy!

Susan :)

8:32 PM  
Blogger karen hopkins said...

If only you could know how much I needed to read this tonight, girl! Its been a long day, where the enemy was doing his darndest to make me fall back into that horrible midnight hour of my past.. all the time being the hour that Crissy and I were trying to " learn " how to do the beautiful blog redo she has done for

I about lost it, felt so unworthy and so stupid when i could not figure it out.. God prevailed over the lies of the enemy, and He and I slayed yet another Giant Killer today..
Alisa, this just was perfect for me tonight to soak in while I am getting ready to shut my brain off tonight ( and my computer, lol )... So weary in spirit, but found comfort in being beautiful tonight in His seeing me in that Holy of Intimate ways.. Goodnight, sweet sister.. I am more than blessed by this!

9:13 PM  
Blogger Life Laugh Latte said...

Isn't God so smart (duh) to give you that beautiful picture of Cinderella?! I love the image and how you so wonderfully put words to it. So true! I stink at quiet time. When I do make the space I always come away wiping the cleansing tears from my eyes. He never fails does He?! Holly

11:23 PM  
Blogger Corrie Howe said...

Thank you. I often forget that I am a princess, a co-heir with Christ, a child of the King.

"and I asked God, “Why do You make me feel so special, and then send me off to serve this broken world and humble myself to everyone around me?"

Did you intentionally pray this way that day? This leaped out at me as I read it because this is exactly what Christ did for us. He stepped off his throne, stepped into a broken world, humbling himself even to the point of dead.

Anyway, that was my thought when your words jumped off the page at me.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Warren Baldwin said...

Good use of the imagery from Ezekiel. You know, God may find us "most royal" when we are in our "servants clothes." Think of the Velvetten Rabbit. Good post.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Alene said...

This is just beautiful! BEAUTIFUL! I am crying, girl. Thanks for sharing. This is just the visual I needed.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Family, Money and Stuff said...

Thank you so much for serving Him. He is glorified by your life and words.

I enjoy this new take on Cinderella. I definately relate to feeling torn between the two worlds - I have peace and joy in that 'God time', and then must return to yelling children and the frustration of real life. It seems so dim in comparison sometimes, but keeps that hunger for home.

Thanks again! Love reading :)

8:28 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I definitely know that feeling. Oh, that makes me want to run to him right now.

This is inspiring for us stay at homers. Thanks, Alisa.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Jackie meant it when she said...

This was beautiful and I have to say, I was struck by the passage where you wrote,
"He takes us to the ball and spoils us. He replenishes us with His grace and fills us with His glory, so when the time comes, we can go back to the world and serve the needs of others. But there is a catch. You won’t be able to effectively and joyful serve others if you are not spending time with the King."
It's funny because when I stray away from spending time with the King, that is when I begin to feel that I am not getting enough. Enough attention, enough validation, enough glory. But, the more time I spend in the presence of the Lord, the less I feel the need to be exalted. The more I want to serve! Serving others becomes more glorious than spinning around in a dress with glass slippers. Thank you for the post. And the picture of Cinderella which caught my eye ;)

11:22 PM  

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