We (me and Ben- yes, can you believe it?!) have been away this week, without children, and so have taken the opportunity, to watch (among other things) 'Saving Mr Banks'. This was mainly (actually wholly!) my choice, as I love Mary Poppins so much& thought the story of how it was made would be interesting & cheery.
Far from it.
The father of the author who wrote Mary Poppins (the man Mr Banks is based on), although full of imagination, creativity & love for his family - was unable to conquer the bad habits he had fallen into. This leads to heartbreak for his family and a life of grieving, guilt and anger for his daughter.
Mary Poppins is a figure who can put the world to rights. In the film, she rescues the Bankes from ruin & disgrace and restores the father-child relationships. But the truth is, this ending has been placed in by Walt Disney to 'save' Mr Banks. To rescue the memory of her father that holds P.L.Travers (the author) captive.
I have to say that I will never again be able to sing 'Let's go fly a kite!' with as much fevour again! While I thought it was a made up story I could. But the fact that it is semi autobiograpical (& does not have this ending!) means it is now tinged with sadness.
The reality is that we all long for happy endings, for restored relationships, for hope where there seems to be none. We seek these every day and just like P.L.Travers, although we might imagine fairy tale endings, the truth is often far from. Even our best relationships (parent-child, husband-wife, best friends) will let us down, grow distant at times, become full of bitterness or judgement.
We can't all add a Disney happy ending- we don't have Mary Poppins (although I have often longed for her to come and sort out my house!). But the Bible tells us we do have someone even better- and He's real! Jesus. He can be the restorer of our most important relationship- between us and God, and if we view all our other relationships through the lens of this- these can also start to be healed and restored.
John 8:12 Jesus said: 'I am the light of the world. Whoever who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life'