People

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a mission trip with a group of fellow Catholics to New York City. It was an incredible experience, and one thing we focused on a lot was homeless outreach. This, of course, required us to reach out to individuals who we might otherwise overlook. This taught me a few things. I wanted to briefly share one of those things with you today.

I can generally be pretty shy around people I’ve never met before, and even among people I do know. So whenever I’m in a public place, perhaps just strolling down the street or sitting in a subway in New York, my natural instinct is to keep to myself and my thoughts. Don’t talk to anybody, don’t even look anybody in the eye. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it often blinds me to a certain fact.

All these people around me, these people I’m avoiding eye contact with or just trying to forget they’re there? Well . . . they’re people.

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That sounds silly, I know. Of course they’re people, Matthew. Duh. But do you ever think about that when others are passing you by? Those are people. People with lives, with families (hopefully), with hopes, with needs and wants. It can be so easy to get caught up in ourselves, so much so that we don’t take proper notice of what’s going on around us.

See that homeless man sitting alone on the street corner? See that elderly woman on the bus with no one to talk to? They’re people. And people need love.

I’m not trying to guilt anybody. And no, I’m not saying that I think you should talk to every single stranger you run into. Sometimes people do want to be left alone, and other people just aren’t friendly at all. But I think there are definitely situations we find ourselves in from time to time in which we can feel a nagging voice in our heads. Go to that person. Talk to them.

The Holy Spirit works in funny ways, that’s for sure. And it’s usually a good idea to listen. Who knows? You might just make someone’s day.

That’s all. Until next time!

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Love = Feelings?

I’ve been reading a book by Edward Sri called Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love — basically a condensed version of John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility. The most recent chapter I read discussed a topic which I think is extremely important, but also one that a lot of people don’t think about or ignore. I also had a great conversation about it with a friend of mine yesterday, so I decided to write about it a bit while it’s fresh in my mind. Don’t worry, I’ll do my best to keep things short and simple.

Quick note first, though: you should definitely read this book. JPII was a genius. They don’t call him St. John Paul the Great for nothing!

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So, in his work, JPII describes how people are attracted to others in two main ways: physically and psychologically (or emotionally). He calls these attractions sensuality and sentimentality. We are attracted to people’s bodies and also to their masculinity or femininity — that’s a pretty obvious given. We were designed this way, and these attractions are meant to orient us toward another person, eventually leading us to love them in an authentic way.

However, ever since the Fall, lust has entered the picture. People are now capable of misusing their sexual desires in order to use others for their own personal pleasure. The way men and women tend to lust is related to the two main types of attraction; that is, in general, men tend to lust more physically and women tend to lust more psychologically, or emotionally. That’s part of why we have the stereotypes of “all men are pigs” and “all women are overly emotional.”

Now, obviously, we are called to control our sexual desires and orient them toward what they are meant to lead us to: true authentic love. We’re not animals, after all, acting merely on instinct. We have free will. So we hear a lot about how we should be careful about how we look at others, how we shouldn’t use them as objects for our own gratification. And that’s an extremely important thing. It’s certainly not bad at all that we see articles about it all the time (or at least I do; my Facebook news feed is probably different from yours).

However, I don’t see nearly enough articles or hear enough discussion about the dangers of not controlling our emotions properly. And I think that’s a problem. I’m no expert, but I think I can see why a lot of people (especially the younger crowd) jump around from relationship to relationship so much. They get so caught up in the powerful emotional rush they receive from mutual attraction that they (wrongly, of course) think that they’re “in love.” But oftentimes, the relationship isn’t based on anything except the attraction. Just for example, the guy may be dating the girl because of her shapely body, or the girl may be dating the guy because she has idealized him in her head — projecting traits she finds desirable onto him even though he may not possess many (or any) of them. Then, once the feelings fade, there is nothing left for the relationship to stand on, thus leading to breakup and leaving both parties worse off than before.

I don’t want to go super deep into this or go on for too long, but I think it’s important to start a discussion about it. Why is it that so many marriages end in divorce? Why are so many people so unhappy in their relationships? Could it perhaps have something to do with people confusing love with sentimentality? I definitely think so.

The book gives a great example of how we can see this happening in life: James Cameron’s blockbuster film Titanic. People flocked to see this movie, particularly women (or so I hear). They were drawn to the thrilling romance of the main characters, and the book speculates that they were especially drawn to Jack’s sacrifice to save Rose (do I really need to include spoiler tags for this movie?). Women want that. They want a man who is willing to give everything for her, even his life. And this is a good thing. But because that great message was mixed with a “love story” that was based on little more than a sexual attraction between the two main characters, we end up with an upside-down message: that this kind of relationship is true, authentic love. That this is the kind of relationship we all should strive for.

Again, it’s no wonder there’s so much complication in people’s love lives (so-called). Hollywood (and other sources, I’m sure) has taught people that love is equivalent to romantic feelings. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s high time people woke up to this fact and stopped getting caught up in their emotions.

Yes, emotions do come along with love. But they are not what love is. Let’s stop seeing the people we’re attracted to as the fulfillment of our personal fantasies. Instead, let’s start seeing them for who they really are. And from there, we can truly grow to love them authentically.

Well, it’s that time of year again! The most wonderful time of the year, many people say. Christmas is just a few days away from now.

I’ll keep this post short, as it’s getting to be the last fifteen minutes of Sunday, when I publish my new post every week.

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Christmas has been rather harshly commercialized in today’s culture. As soon as Halloween is over, Christmas music is playing on the radio. Stores start breaking out the Christmas stuff as early as October. Buying things and getting things is often seen to be the focus of the whole thing, which understandably stresses many people out. It can get really crazy.

Now, obviously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving and receiving gifts on Christmas. I love it, and I still get butterflies in my stomach from the sheer excitement of waking up on Christmas morning. But I just wanted to share this one thought: as we’re all gathering together, opening presents, giving presents, feasting, and all that jolly good stuff, let’s remember where it all comes from and why we commemorate the holiday in the first place.

Linus said it better than I probably could, so I’ll let him take it from here.

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Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

Lessons from “Frozen,” Part 3 of 3: Everyone’s a Bit of a Fixer Upper!

And now, it’s time for the third and final installment of “Lessons from Frozen!” In this post, I discuss a very important point that Frozen makes — a point that really needs to be heard in this day and age. (By the way, just because this is the last of this “trilogy” of posts does not mean I’ll never write about this film again. Just so you know. :P)

Everyone has heard the phrase “nobody’s perfect” countless times in their lives. It seems rather obvious, doesn’t it? We’re human, and being imperfect is part of our fallen human nature. So if that’s true, I have a question: where the heck did the idea of a “perfect companion” come from?

This idea has taken hold of today’s culture. Single (and sometimes not) people everywhere are constantly talking about what their ideal spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or what have you would be like. Many of them even make lists of their traits. “He has to be tall, dark, and handsome.” “She has to have blonde hair and blue eyes.” “He has to be able to sing and cook.” “She has to be a good kisser.”

Many people are guilty of doing something like this at some point in their lives. They create a personal fantasy in which, someday, their “perfect companion” will come into their lives and sweep them off of their feet. Happiness. Rainbows. Unicorns. Blah blah blah. You get the point.

Why do people do this? People desire love, of course. Everyone desires to be loved, as I pointed out in Part 1 of these posts. Everyone desires to “be completed” by someone — a perfect individual who will satisfy all their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Siiigh. It sounds soooooo romantic, doesn’t it?

Well, maybe so. However, I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but I’m gonna lay down the truth right now.

There is no such thing as a “perfect companion.”

NO ONE on this earth will ever completely satisfy us. NO ONE on this earth will always be there for us. NO ONE on this earth will completely understand and relate to us.

Thanks, Mr. Sunshine, you might be thinking. Way to lift everyone’s spirits.

But wait. Notice how I said no one on this earth will ever complete us. As it turns out, it is God that people are truly longing for. There is a God-shaped hole in everyone’s heart. When people try to fill it with anything that is less than God — meaning anything but God — they are left unsatisfied.

Men and women complement each other. They do not complete each other. Only God completes people.

That is an important point, but it’s secondary to the main point of this post, which is this: Frozen makes a very clear and wonderful message concerning the problem of “the perfect companion.” This message mainly takes root in the rousing number called “Fixer Upper.”

Before we get to the song, though, a little bit of background. Anna meets Hans and “falls in love” with him early in the film, as discussed in Part 1. He seems perfect — handsome, funny, romantic,  a good dancer, etc. (These are traits which probably have appeared on many people’s “perfect companion” list.) She’s ready to marry him as soon as he proposes to her.

Soon, though, reality slaps Anna in the face when Elsa refuses to bless the marriage. An accident happens, Elsa runs away, and Anna goes after her, as we all know. On her way up the mountain, Anna meets a guy who sells ice by the name of Kristoff.

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Kristoff, to Anna, is nearly the opposite of handsome Prince Hans. Kristoff speaks somewhat roughly, treats his pet reindeer like a person, and says that all men pick their noses and eat their boogers. Ew. Not to mention, he’s just like Elsa in that he simply cannot believe that she got engaged to someone she had just met the very same day. Anna can’t wait to reach her sister and thus be rid of her earthy mountain guide.

As the journey up the mountain continues, however, the two do begin to grow more tolerant of each other. Still, though, Anna is in love with Hans and she can’t wait to get back to him and marry him. But when Anna is struck in the heart by Elsa’s powers, Kristoff takes her to see his friends — the “love experts,” as he referred to them earlier.

These love experts turn out to be a troop of rocky, mossy, big-nosed trolls, and they’re absolutely thrilled to see that Kristoff has brought a girl. He hastens to clarify the situation, but they don’t seem to listen. When Anna also insists that there is nothing between her and Kristoff, the trolls begin their song — “Fixer Upper.”

In the song, they ask Anna why she’s “holding back from such a man,” and proceed to list several of Kristoff’s less-than-perfect qualities. Among them are the “pear-shaped, square-shaped weirdness of his feet;” that though he “washes well, he always ends up sort of smelly;” “that he’s socially impaired;” and “his unmanly blondness.”

They sing:

“So he’s a bit of a fixer upper / so he’s got a few flaws…”

“So he’s a bit of a fixer upper / but this we’re certain of:

You can fix this fixer upper up with a little bit of love”

This becomes the glue that holds the message of their song together. The bridge goes like this:

“We’re not saying you can change him, ’cause people don’t really change

We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange

People make bad choices when they’re mad or scared or stressed

But throw a little love their way… and you’ll bring out their best

True love brings out the best”

Now that’s very interesting. How many times have you heard of people wanting to get into a relationship with someone who’s not quite up to standard, and they say: “Oh, I’ll change him/her!” The message here, though, is that you can’t change other people. What you can do, however, is bring out the best in others by truly loving them.

And finally, the clincher:

“Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper / that’s what it’s all about

Father, sister, brother / we need each other to raise us up and round us out

Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper / but when push comes to shove

The only fixer upper fixer that can fix up a fixer upper is true love”

Wow. I want to give whoever wrote this song a cookie.

Read those lyrics! Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper! Everyone’s got a few flaws! But while that may be true, we can build each other up and push each other to become the best we can be through love. True love. What a great message for today’s culture.

Anna finds out that the trolls are right. After she discovers Hans’s plot, and that Kristoff loves her, she falls for him, which she never would have dreamed of earlier in the film. Sure, he’s got a few flaws. He’s not perfect. But neither is she. And they can both help each other grow by loving each other to the best of their ability.

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I am so, so grateful to Disney for making this film. In the midst of a culture that promotes the idea of a “perfect companion,” along comes a film that happily proclaims that nobody is perfect. Everyone’s got flaws. Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper.

And that’s okay. Because true love brings out the best in everyone.

Bravo, Disney. Bravo.


That’s all for “Lessons from Frozen!” I hope you’ve enjoyed these posts and maybe learned a thing or two from them.

Got anything to add? Comment, please! I’d love to hear from you. :D

That’s all for now. Until next post, friends!

 

Lessons from “Frozen,” Part 2 of 3: Conceal, Don’t Feel

Welcome to Part 2 of “Lessons from Frozen,” in which I discuss a very prominent element of the film’s plot: Elsa’s blessing/curse which eventually freezes Arendelle and moves Elsa to isolate herself from everyone.

Some people have claimed that Elsa’s personal torment contains a hidden pro-gay agenda. Allow me to offer a different interpretation of it.

So, the conflict of the story begins the moment that Elsa accidentally hits Anna with her winter powers. You’ve seen the film, so you know what happens — Anna’s memory of the incident is wiped away and Elsa proceeds to hide herself from Anna. Not sometimes, but nearly always — for years.

Early on, we see that Elsa’s ability to hide her powers from her sister isn’t developing well. So her father gives her a pair of gloves. As he puts them on her hands, he tells her that they will help, and there is an exchange of dialogue that becomes the backbone of Elsa’s character arc:

Father: “Conceal it.”

Elsa: “Don’t feel it.”

Both together: “Don’t let it show.”

This is partially where the whole “hidden gay agenda” accusation comes in. But think about it for a minute. Doesn’t everyone have the temptation to simply “conceal, don’t feel” at some point in their lives?

Feeling left out? Conceal, don’t feel.

Stressing out over just about everything? Conceal, don’t feel.

Thinking that nobody cares about you? Conceal, don’t feel.

In other words, whenever we have personal problems that nag at us, we have a decision to make. Do we reach out to those around us, asking for their love and support? Or do we hide it, trying to deal with it on our own?

Moving on for the moment. Elsa’s and Anna’s parents die, and eventually the day comes for Elsa to become queen of Arendelle. We see her still struggling to conceal her powers. She sings:

“Conceal / don’t feel / put on a show / make one wrong move and everyone will know.”

During the coronation, she has to take off her gloves when she picks up the scepter and the orb-like thingy that I don’t know the name of. Her hands tremble. Ice begins to form on the objects and she puts them back down as quickly as possible, slipping her gloves back on immediately.

What are we seeing here? Why can’t she control her powers?

Fear.

Elsa’s torment is caused by her fear. She fears that she might accidentally hurt Anna or someone else again. She fears that everyone will fear and hate her if they find out about her powers.

Anna knows that Elsa is afraid of something, but she doesn’t know what. When Elsa refuses to bless Anna and Hans’s marriage, she shouts at her.

“Why do you shut me out? Why do you shut the world out? What are you so afraid of?

The Coronation Day has already pushed Elsa extremely hard. But this has pushed her to her limits. She turns sharply about, yells “I said ENOUGH!” and inadvertently releases a wall of razor-sharp icicles.

Everyone stares at her in horror. Some whisper, “Sorcery.” Elsa can think of only one thing to do: run.

And run she does — far away, up into the mountains. And thus begins the most famous number from the film: “Let It Go.” I think pretty much everyone knows the lyrics by heart, but please bear with me as I break apart some of the song.

“Let it go / let it go / can’t hold it back anymore

Let it go / let it go / turn away and slam the door

I don’t care what they’re going to say

Let the storm rage on

The cold never bothered me anyway”

What is Elsa saying? “Turn away and slam the door?” “Let the storm rage on?” Hmmm. Does this sound familiar? Going back to what I was saying earlier about concealing our hurt from others, what do we do when people do find out that we’re hurting? Often, we isolate ourselves. “Leave me alone,” we say. And we wallow in self-pity, and sometimes anger. This is not to say that wanting to be left alone sometimes is unhealthy — I can personally vouch for it being a good thing. But do we eventually come out of ourselves and reach out to others? Or do we stubbornly refuse to do so?

This is Elsa’s problem. She doesn’t want to share her hurt and fear with anyone. She wants to deal with it on her own. This ties into Elsa’s fear. She’s afraid of what people will think of her. She’s afraid of rejection.

“It’s funny how some distance / makes everything seem small

And the fears that once controlled me / can’t get to me at all”

In other words, running away from our problems makes them seem smaller, and Elsa believes she has escaped her fear. But does this really work? We’ll see in a moment.

Some people see the “Let It Go” sequence as a triumph for Elsa. They see it as a turning point — that she finally is accepting that she has these powers and is not afraid to hold them back anymore. While that might seem like a good thing at first glance, what is she really doing? She’s building up walls around herself, both literally and metaphorically. She’s imprisoning herself to avoid running the risk of hurting anyone anymore. While this is a noble goal, we can see that she is going about it the wrong way. She still lives in fear. She has deceived herself.

This becomes apparent as the film continues. While Elsa hides in her icy citadel, Arendelle remains completely frozen. When Anna finally reaches her sister and tells her this, Elsa is distraught. She thought she had solved everything on her own, but she has made matters worse.

Things get worse still. When Anna insists that she can help Elsa overcome her problem, Elsa despairs, screaming “I can’t!”

And Anna is struck by Elsa’s powers again — but this time in the heart. In panic, Elsa creates a snow monster to chase Anna and her companions away before she hurts anyone else. Not long afterward, Hans reaches her palace and sends in his men to seize her.

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The men, however, have been ordered by the Duke of Weaseltown (ahem, Wesselton) to kill her. She lashes out in self-defense, but to no avail. She is captured, thrown into a dungeon, and chained. Hans comes to her and asks her to stop the winter, but she insists that she doesn’t know how. Later, she manages to escape with her powers, and runs out onto the frozen river, where a blizzard is taking place. She doesn’t know it yet, but Anna is out in the blizzard, dying and calling for Kristoff.

Hans soon catches up with Elsa and lies to her, saying that Anna is dead because of her. And a funny thing happens as Elsa is overcome with remorse and grief: the blizzard stops. This is a hint at what is to come very soon.

With the blizzard stopped, Anna can see clearly, and thus is able to save her sister from Hans as discussed in the previous post. And it is then that Elsa realizes how she can stop the winter and be in complete control of her powers.

Love.

It makes sense. The blizzard stopped moments earlier because of Elsa’s outpouring of grief over her sister whom she loves and believed to be dead. It also brings to mind a Bible verse, 1 John 4:18a:

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (RSV)

Elsa has let her fear control her all her life. It led her to remove herself from her sister and later conceal herself in her own icy prison. Conceal, don’t feel. Don’t let it show. Don’t let them know.

But now, Elsa has learned that this is not the way to live. Love is the answer. Love will thaw. Perfect love casts out fear.

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Disney has gotten it right once again. I hope that everyone who sees this film is inspired by Elsa’s transformation.


Sorry you all had to wait several days for this post! Let me know what you think. Agree? Disagree? A little of both? Sound off in the comments!

I promise the next post will come more quickly. When it comes, I hope you enjoy “Lessons from Frozen, Part 3 of 3: Everyone’s a Bit of a Fixer Upper!”

ADDENDUM: Someone rightly pointed out that I didn’t discuss why Elsa’s torment isn’t pro-gay propaganda enough in this post. Well, to summarize, I can see why people might interpret it that way. Elsa has lived in fear, isolating herself and holding back her powers to the best of her ability — some see this as a parallel to someone who is “in the closet,” and thus cheer for Elsa when she triumphantly sings “Let it go, can’t hold it back anymore.”

But, in my opinion, that’s where the gay view stops. If this movie is pro-gay, why does it make it so clear that what Elsa was doing was wrong? Elsa “lets it go,” which only makes matters worse for her in the end. I believe that the writers’ intention was to show that when we are troubled about something, we should reach out to others rather than conceal it within ourselves. I’m sure that gay people can relate to Elsa’s feelings, but I simply don’t see how her personal transformation fits into the whole pro-gay agenda. Thoughts?

Lessons from “Frozen,” Part 1 of 3: True Love vs. Infatuation

Disney’s most recent animated musical, Frozen, has been almost universally praised by audiences and critics alike, with good reason. It’s a very well-crafted film on many levels, it has great music, the characters are memorable and real, etc. To go further, I’d like to propose that another reason why this film has been so successful is that it teaches wonderful lessons that today’s society is dying to hear. This post will cover one of the three of these lessons that I’ll be talking about, and everyone is more than welcome to add their voices to the discussion! Be sure to leave a comment with your insights!

WARNING: These posts will contain plot spoilers. If you haven’t seen the movie, by golly, see it already! It’s been out for, like, half a year. Come on.

So, this first post is about true love vs. infatuation. If you ask people today what love is, you will find that their answers vary greatly. Some define it as a feeling, some define it as an action. Some will say it is the equivalent of what should actually be called lust. As a more concrete example, here’s the top three definitions that appeared when I did a Yahoo search for “love definition:”

  1. A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.

  2. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.

  3. Sexual passion.

Hmm. I find it interesting that each of these definitions places love squarely in the realm of emotions and feelings. Certainly there are emotions that come along with love, but are they what love actually is?

Frozen attempts to answer that question. I find that the answer it provides is very much in line with the truth.

In the film, we have Anna, one of two princesses of Arendelle, who has been kept locked up inside the castle with her sister Elsa since her childhood, as the result of the accident caused by Elsa’s wintry powers. Quite understandably, she’s dying to get outside and meet everyone on Coronation Day. “I can’t wait to meet everyone!” she exclaims. Then she goes on to wonder, “What if I meet the one?”

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Anna deeply desires love, which makes sense. She’s human. We all desire to be loved — it’s written in our nature. So when she runs into (literally) the handsome prince from the Southern Isles, Hans, she believes that she has found love at last. She and Hans laugh and talk together, skid down hallways in their socks, and even sing a catchy duet about their supposed love for each other.

“Our mental synchronization / can have but one explanation,”

they sing.

“You and I were just meant to be.”

Anna, she believes, is in love. Hans is handsome, a good dancer, fun, and he cares about her. She accepts Hans’ marriage proposal immediately. After all, they were made for each other. He’s perfect.

A little bit too perfect, wouldn’t you think? Hmm.

So when Anna and Hans ask Elsa to give them her blessing, she rightfully refuses, which greatly offends her sister. Anna simply doesn’t understand why Elsa would refuse. So what if they just met? As she tells Kristoff later on, “It’s true love!” Why should it matter how long they’ve known each other?

This is a problem I see often in today’s society. Why are people so willing to jump into relationships with people they barely know? Why are people so obsessed with famous (and, of course, attractive) actors, musicians, and other celebrities? They are merely skimming the surface — they are looking only with their eyes. They see the attractive body but not the soul. What is the result? In the case of dating, not far into the relationship, they get bored with each other — they “fall out of love” — and decide to split up and find someone new.

Is it any wonder that so many people are unhappy in today’s culture? Is it any wonder why America has a 50% divorce rate, at least last I checked? This culture does not understand true love, just as Anna doesn’t.

Fast-forward to later in the film. Anna has been struck by Elsa’s powers again, this time in the heart rather than the head. She’s in dire need. The trolls tell her that “only an act of true love can melt a frozen heart.” Great! She and Hans are in love! All she needs to do is run to Hans quick as a flash and get a true love’s kiss from him! Problem solved!

Or not.

Anna reaches Hans, thanks to Kristoff and Sven. But it’s then that she discovers the terrible truth: Hans doesn’t love her. His sweet talk, his charm, his marriage proposal… it was all fake. He used her. It was all just part of his selfish plans. He leaves her locked in a cold, dark room, heartbroken and dying. I bet many a person seeing this film who has been used in a similar way can relate very deeply to Anna in this scene.

Soon, the snowman Olaf finds her and decides to stay with her, promising that he won’t leave until they’ve figured out another act of true love that can cure her. Anna doesn’t have a positive outlook on this.

“I don’t even know what love is,” she admits to Olaf.

“Well, I do,” he says. “It’s putting someone else’s needs before yours.”

*applauds Frozen’s screenwriter(s)*

And as it turns out, what Olaf says is true. When Anna realizes that it’s Kristoff who loves her, she goes out to find him so he can give her a true love’s kiss. She calls out for him in the cold, and then sees him running toward her. For a moment, it seems to her that everything will be all right after all.

But then she sees something else. Hans is silently approaching Elsa from behind, sword at the ready.

So what does Anna do?

She throws herself between Hans and Elsa, blocking Hans’ sword and shattering it as she turns into an ice sculpture.

Everyone stares in disbelief as Elsa embraces the statue, crying for her apparently dead sister. But within moments, Anna has returned to her normal self.

Once the initial shock subsides, Elsa asks, “You sacrificed yourself for me?”

“I love you,” Anna says simply.

That is an act of true love. That is what love is. Anna was about to die, but so was her sister. And she decided to save her sister’s life. She put someone else’s needs before her own.  As a result, she saved not only Elsa but her own life as well. Anna has matured and learned what true love is.

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Our culture desperately needs to hear this message. So many people fall into the same trap that Anna did with Hans. They see only the surface value of everyone around them and, as the phrase goes, look for love in all the wrong places. They believe that love is nothing more than feelings or attraction. And, tragically, this most often results in heartbreak and/or the use of others as a means to an end.

Frozen sets out to prove that things like infatuation and emotion do not equal love. It shows that true love is selfless — putting the needs of others above our own.

That is a message I deeply hope that people will take to heart when they see this film.


Stay tuned for Part 2: Conceal, Don’t Feel!