I watched Saving Mr. Banks this past weekend. Given my love of Mary Poppins, it is odd that I have not watched it before now. I had meant to see it in the theater when it was out but never got around to it. But being a believer in Divine timing I sense that I was not meant to see it until now.
I love Mary Poppins and in fact I am a lover of all things musical. This is not new news to those who know me but I have never been able to name what it is about musicals that draws my heart so strongly. Watching Saving Mr. Banks I think I’m beginning to understand the pull.
I have always loved how Mr. Banks turns around in the movie but seeing the connection with P.L Travers own father made this part of the story so much more powerful. My heart was deeply, and unexpectedly, touched seeing her desire to make him a better father than he might actually have been; to see him redeemed from the man who drank and failed to take care of his family into a man who makes his family a priority.
When I heard Tom Hanks, as Walt Disney, say that Mr. Banks would be redeemed in the story of Mary Poppins, I realized that there is a thread of redemption that runs through all the musicals that I love the most. Redemption of heart, of character, and of life story.
I am drawn to the idea of story because I recognize our inherent need for redemption. Redemption from the things in our past that have kept us tethered and unable to move forward. Redemption from the lies that label us as less than. Redemption from the stories that have played out generation after generation in our families but stories that we are so desperate to see play out differently in our own lives. Redemption! This is what draws me to my favorite musicals including Mary Poppins although I have only just been able to see that thread of redemption.
For the next few blog posts I’m going to share a few of my favorite musicals and pull out the story of redemption that is hidden in them. I will share other life lessons gleaned from their stories but without having to think too hard, I see the thread of redemption and I want to name it and pull it out.
Redemption is indeed my heart’s cry and I’m thankful that I serve a God who specializes in redemption. There are parts of my own story that need redeeming and as the echo of redemption has been showing up for me in unexpected ways this week, I feel hope rekindling in me. Hope that my story of redemption is being written and will continue to find expression in unexpected places.