Meditations by John Dean

Monday, March 10, 2014


(Jeremiah 31:13 ASV) Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old together; for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. 

I rarely go to movies, but the other day my wife talked me into going with her to see the movie “Saving Mr. Banks.” This was a story of Walt Disney getting the movie rights to produce “Mary Poppins.”

Mr. Disney (who preferred to be called Walt) took a real life tragic story and turned it around and produced the very charming movie “Mary Poppins.” That movie has blessed and entertained young and old alike around the world for the last fifty years.

While watching the movie, “Saving Mr. Banks,” I learned something interesting about Mr. Disney. His idea of healing the painful truth in this real life story was by turning on one’s make-believe world…which could lead to a happy ending rather than a sad one.

Those principles may have been an acceptable method for movie goers and theme park characters, but it only camouflaged the real issue and left the wounded unhealed. Was Mr. Disney suggesting that camouflage be the answer to dealing with one’s painful past? I do not think that was his intention at all. He was simply dealing with this life tragedy the best way he could by putting a make-believe happy ending to it. This was probably his way of making life a little easier for the one who actually liveds the story.

Since I am a word person I enjoy studying the deeper meaning of words. I particularly enjoy studying small groups of words called “one-liners.” There was a one-liner in the movie that caught my attention,… “We restore order with imagination.”

This is exactly what Mr. Disney did in making the move Mary Poppins...he turned on one’s imagination. This particular one-liner is true if one is living in a make-believe world, but certainly not in the real world. In the real world, joy and healing come by way of a relationship with Jesus Christ and not through one’s own imagination.

There is a promise in the last part of our text that brings great comfort to me. The promise is, “For I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.”

An active imagination, no amount of camouflaging nor pretending it did not happen is required. What is required is the faith to believe that our Heavenly Father’s desire is to “Turn our mourning into joy.”

I do thank You for the efforts of men like Mr. Disney who tried to bring a happy ending to a tragic story...even though he did not know there was a better way.  Father, help those of us who have a personal relationship with You to be more sensitive in bringing the good news of healing to the hurting and weary.


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