Sunday, March 07, 2010
Alice in Wonderland
"Nothing is impossible for God." Luke 1:37
Alice in Wonderland has always been a fascinating, mind-boggling experience - and this newest movie version released by Disney and directed by Tim Burton does not veer far from that tradition.
At the core of the film is Alice Kingsley (Mia Wasikowska), who is now 19 years old and continually plagued by childhood dreams of talking animals, painted roses, and strange riddles. At this point in her life, while she might want to escape into her vision, Alice is overwhelmed by the possibities of a loveless marriage proposal, little room for expression, and a highly constrictive Victorian landscape.
Wanting to escape reality, she runs from the pressure, follows the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen), and falls headlong down the rabbit hole - to Underland. There she meets a menagerie of characters including Abosolom the Blue Caterpillar (Alan Rickman), Tweedledee & Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), and the infamous Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).
Believing this all to be a dream, she takes control of her destiny, not allowing fear and insecurity to dominate her every move. She bravely faces off against the wild Bandersnatch - inspiring the smallest dormouse (Barbara Windsor) to stop the creature with the poke of her little needle. When the Mad Hatter is apprehended by the authorities, Alice takes another brave turn by embarking on a quest to save him from the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter).
Episode after episode, Alice shows her very non-Victorian resolve and leadership abilities. When everything around her seems impossible, she finds that anything she does can be quite possible.
In our own lives, we can sometimes fall headfirst into an impossible situation - where hard work, medical issues, family problems, or relationship stress can overwhelm us. We can feel like Alice, lost in our reality - unsure if we'll ever get out of this "rabbit hole" we're in.
This is not possible, we say. This is beyond me, we think. This is too much for me to change, we convince ourselves. We think too much like Alice: "This is impossible," says Alice in this movie - to which the Mad Hatter kindly says, "Only if you think it is."
When the angel came to Mary, she thought much the same thing. But the angel comforted her, saying, "Nothing is impossible for God." (Lk 1:37). And if we allow God into our hearts, nothing is impossible for us.
Work, stress, and anxiety can weigh heavily on us, thinking that changing or affecting the outcome is beyond our capabilities. We feel powerless, constricted like Alice in her Victorian corset. But with our God-given courage and determination, we can stand up to the monsters that haunt us (like the Bandersnatch in Alice) and look him right in the eye. In the movie, Alice did not slay the beast - and in life we won't destroy our problems completely - but we can stand up to them and see that, compared to God, they are really harmless and insignificant.
When we realize our full potential - the gifts and experiences God has given to us - like Alice did in Wonderland, then nothing can get in our way. No jabberwocky dragon, no loveless relationship, no overwhelming workload, and no health issue can be greater than the power of the Holy Spirit that lives and breathes within each one of us.
Nothing is impossible because, in truth, everything is possible.