Cathryn   -  

This morning I read an article from USA Today that I’m still pondering.
The article’s headline is this:
“New master-planned communities will let Disney fans
‘be part of Disney all of the time'”

I know Disney is a treasured place for many.
And some of you may right now be calling a realtor to put your house on the market
so you can be ready to move to “Cotino” in Rancho Mirage, California as soon as you
possibly can do so! I do enjoy a good Disney trip, so I understand the desire to live
in that kind of vibrant color and choreographed movement (and cleanliness!).

Here’s what I’m pondering…
Disney is special because it’s a slice of time away from work and routine and laundry
and school and homework and after school activities. It’s special because we get to
step into a Disney story and try to imagine being part of it.

But it’s not real life.
What happens in a “Storyliving by Disney” community when a family experiences…
job loss, learning difficulties, illness, hunger, poverty, overwhelming schedules,
marriage difficulty, depression, anxiety, the teenage years or death of a loved one?
I noticed no mention of career counseling centers, addiction recovery programs,
food banks, religious centers, clinics or hospitals in the community’s plans.
In real life our story lines are not so easily resolved as they are in the movies.
Although we often wish they were.

Disney is fun. And can be beautiful. And a wonderful diversion.
But Disney characters do not walk with us through all of those aforementioned
difficulties in life. They are powerless to help, though they might distract from the
pain. There can be such a hard crash when “perfect life” expectations are not met,
and an agonizing feeling of separation from
those who seem to live it when we are not.
An alienation.

So are residents really able to ‘be part of Disney all the time?”
Maybe, maybe not. All Disney lovers are welcome to share your thoughts!

But here is what I know to be true:
Jesus promises to walk with us in real life (and on Disney properties).
Jesus invites us to live in God’s story of love and grace,
no matter where we live or what our lives look like.
Jesus, the only Perfect One, breaks through the boundary of alienation
to sit with the broken and broken-hearted
and to remind them that God is with them and for them
even when their life is ugly and messy and devastated.
Or just not-so-good at the moment.
(and by “them” and “their” I mean “us” and “our”).
Jesus, who broke the power of sin and death,
has power to help, power to heal, power to change.
And he wants to.
That’s Storyliving by God.
And you don’t have to sell your house to move there.
All you have to do is believe