(Cover art courtesy of Baker Publishing Group)
Godmothers — “When Our Fairy Tales Go Awry”
Taken from Godmothers by Lisa Bevere. Copyright © 2020 by Lisa Bevere. Used by permission of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. www.bakerpublishinggroup.com.
We’ll never go wrong being kind. Cinderella was well on her way to becoming a princess long before she married the prince. Let’s learn from her; every gracious response and act of kindness became another layer of adornment. The fairy godmother’s wand merely revealed the gown that Cinderella had been weaving through her consistent benevolence and warmth. These are the choices that give us…
Wings to rise above pettiness.
Wings to rise above jealousy.
Wings to rise above mistreatment and tragedy, and finish well.
Adversity was the wind that taught her to fly.
Even when we are treated like rejected stepdaughters, we have the power to respond like daughters of a King. I think we love the story of Cinderella because long ago we were invited to a royal celebration that will begin our happily ever after. Even now, your garment is being woven and your place is being set. The Prince has found you and thrown wide the doors of welcome.
Let us rejoice and exalt him and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come.
And his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, shining bright and clear,
has been given to her to wear,
and the fine linen represents
the righteous deeds of his holy believers.
(Rev. 19:7–8 TPT)
It is the Lord who clothes us and his righteousness that robes us. I think it is fair to say that his godliness wove our gown.
And now let’s talk a bit more about the role of this marvelous slipper. The slipper was the tangible item that set Cinderella apart from all the other women in the room. It was the physical item that represented the hidden loveliness of her spirit. The slipper was something uniquely crafted for and gifted to her. There wasn’t another young woman in the room who had what she had and no one else could wear her slipper or take it away. This revelation gave Cinderella a sense of undisturbed peace when all the other ladies in the kingdom were trying it on.
The slipper was the only item of her outfit that did not change back to its original form. Maybe Cinderella was barefoot when her fairy godmother showed up, or maybe the slipper just reflected her walk, which was always consistently golden and transparent. Whatever the reason, the slipper became her identifier. It was the homing device that led the prince back to her. The two were inseparable; Cinderella and her slipper were one and the same in the mind of her royal suitor. He knew that where he found the owner of the slipper, he would find his bride.
The slipper was the symbol or signet that there was more to our legend lady than what met the eye. To explain, I will reach back to the days of my high school French. There is a French phrase that every woman should live, even if she finds it difficult to pronounce. The words are je ne sais quoi. This literally means “I know not what.” The phrase is used to describe what is appealing or attractive about someone or something that you find difficult to frame with words. Cinderella had some serious je ne sais quoi going on.
In our day, this I know not what may be as simple as the increasingly rare commodity known as feminine virtue and kindness. Virtue is best defined as moral excellence. Virtue is the attribute that weaves together all that is just, courageous, ethically superior, honorable, and worthy of merit. The opposite of virtue is cowardice, wickedness, and vice.
Bullies are secretly cowards. Their oppression of others is a form of self- protecting. Driven by fear, they operate in the knowledge of the kingdom of darkness and cannot understand that, ultimately, we rise by lifting others and begin to fall as we oppress them. The dark bullying of the evil stepmother only served to highlight the light within Cinderella. The stepmother was the furnace that worked gold into Cinderella’s life.
Because Cinderella was good, she did good. In this tale, her virtue expressed itself most obviously in kindness. Kindness acts like a key that unlocks people and circumstances. In the most recent Cinderella movie, her mother told her to “have courage and be kind.” More and more, it seems it will take courage to be kind.
Most of us will never have an actual glass slipper that declares there is something more to us, but all of us can develop virtue and kindness. Because our Prince is all good, we are empowered to do good. We have been sealed with a gift that is holy. Let’s behave as such. Because it is confusing when royal daughters act like grasping, competitive stepsisters.
The Holy Spirit is the counselor sent to transform us into who we really are. Let’s not grieve the very One who empowers us. Virtue is not something that we slip on and off. This gift cannot be purchased or stolen, and it is greater than any magical blessing a fairy godmother might convey. Our gift comes from our Prince. His gift is alive within us (1 John 2:27). We have a measure of the Prince’s Holy Spirit within us. It is our surety of welcome on the other side of this pain.