Out of all the Disney Princesses out there, Mulan has always been my girl. First of all, she ends up with a guy with a man bun. Score.
Secondly, she is a total feminist. (My Saint Mary's Belle roots coming in strong) She defies all cultural expectations and isn't afraid to test the waters. Again...my kinda woman.
Now as a child, my reasons for loving this movie were more so because I thought MuShoo was hilarious and I liked to occasionally pretend I was a ninja while listening to "Let's Get Gown To Business". Last weekend, I found myself convincing everyone in my household to watch this movie with me while I was on duty. As I sat there on the couch with one of the other moms, I thumbed through my shoebox full of pictures and various memorabilia to hang in my room. I am a hoarder to say the least. I came across a stack of scrapbook pages that my friends made for me in college for my birthday. One of them read :
"She is clothed in strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future." - Proverbs 31:25
I turned to the mother sitting next to me, and asked "Are you Christian?"
"Yeah, I am. Why?" she said.
I showed her the bible verse and shared with her how much I love it.
"Oh, I don't know if that's true about me," she said.
Now let's get back to Mulan. We kept watching the movie, and the final scene was upon us. Mulan finally returns home after single handedly saving China at war. She kneels before her father, and presents him with a the General's sword and the crest of the Emperor himself.
"Their gifts to honor the Fah family," she says with her head bowed.
Her Father tosses the gifts aside, kneels down across from her and gives her a warm embrace. He holds her face in his hands and looks deeply into her eyes.
"The greatest gift and honor, is having you for a daughter. I have missed you so," he says.
A tear rolls down Mulan's cheek at the sound of those words, because isn't this what we all want most in life? To be cherished, to make someone proud, and to be loved for who we are. To be loved apart from what we do or accomplish. Mulan flippin' saved an entire country from the big bad huns (they still scare me), and yet her Father's love for her did not depend on that. Her Father loves her because she is HIS OWN. She belongs to him.
So there I am sitting on the couch having a profound God moment with Mulan because I couldn't help but see myself and God in that scene. Oddly enough, I recently heard God clearly speak these words to me in prayer : "I have missed you."
Talk about a heart throb. Thanks, Jesus. You sure do know how to make a girl cry. Our Father misses us when we are away. When we forget about his existence, and pretend like he is just this being up in the sky that is just there to answer our requests and tell us what to do. No. He is a loving and living Father who just wants to love on us all the time. He dreams of our happiness.
So this is how our God in heaven looks at us. The same way Mulan's Father looks at her in this scene. Just take a moment to image this.
Our God in heaven takes you, his child, and holds your face in his hands, saying those same words.
"The greatest gift and honor, is having you for a daughter."
He is honored to call you his daughter/son. Your existence is a gift to Him. He is proud to call you his creation.
I immediately thought about the Mom sitting next to me, and how I hope to help her realize this more. God is honored to call her his daughter. There is nothing that we can do to change this. We are his prized possessions. The next day the responsorial psalm followed the same theme :
"The Lord takes delight in his people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation." Psalm 149:4
The Lord looks at us with the same pride that a parent does when they hold their child for the first time. He looks at us with delight. No matter what we do, the mistakes we have made, what has happened to us, or the people we have hurt. The Lord takes delight in us simply because we are his. I want to convey this message to every Mother I meet this year. It is the most important one.
Thanks Mulan. I always knew I liked you.