Friday, March 10, 2006

Shrek & Lent

"He was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white... but then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them." Mark 9:2-3,8

During the second week of Lent, we read in the Scriptures a preview experience of the resurrection that Peter, James, and John had, as recorded in the Gospel of Mark. Jesus takes them off alone to show them (and us) what lies ahead of us at the end of Lent. He gives these three disciples a chance to see him as he really is, not as the world sees him.

In the film Shrek, the character Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz) goes through her own transfiguration process between what the world sees and what really lies beneath.

In reality, Fiona is large green ogre. To the world, she puts on the mask of a beautiful petite woman. One evening, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) discovers her dual appearance, and she confides in him, much like Jesus did with the three disciples, her real identity.

We are all like Fiona, and we are all like Christ, in the fact that we live our lives in a tension between our real selves and how the world sees us. We can often get caught up in our public personna, especially if others prefer this side of us in our daily lives.

There is something truly special about each of us, things about us that make us unique.

And like the three disciples with Jesus and like Donkey with Fiona, we invite our loved ones to see this side of ourselves. Our goal, like Christ's goal, was to show this real self to the world; but sometimes the world isn't yet ready for it. But when that real transfiguration happens (for Christ, the resurrection after crucifixion; for Fiona, her revelation to Shrek and all the people in the kingdom), it fuses our real and our public lives. That should be our goal, too.

God made us special, not just so our friends know, but so that we might use this uniqueness to transform our world.

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