Over the holidays, our family saw Saving Mr. Banks. Some have criticized it as “a Disney movie about a Disney movie.” However, we thoroughly enjoyed “the story behind the story” of one of our favorite movies, Mary Poppins.
While there are some rather emotional scenes in Saving Mr. Banks, the one moment that put my heart in my throat was during a dialogue between Walt Disney and P. L. Travers. Disney states, “That’s what we storytellers do. We instill hope again, and again, and again.”
I’ve written about this aspect of the Christian faith in the past. We human beings live in the midst of an amazing Story filled with unpredictable twists in plot that evoke passion, misery, and joy. This Story is epic in every sense of the word, enveloping the entire cosmos. And it also contains as many subplots as there are individual lives throughout history.
At its core, the Story in which we all live instills hope again, and again, and again. Saving Mr. Banks rekindled this in my imagination. And then immediately reading N.T. Wright’s, The Case for the Psalms, further fanned it into flames. In his book, Wright explains how Israel’s ancient poems tell an ongoing story of humans living at the convergence of our time, space and matter and God’s time, space and matter. It’s upon this knife’s edge that our stories make sense within the larger cosmic Story.
So, we not only live within this astonishing Story, but like Israel’s poets, we must learn to become its storytellers too so our words, deeds and lives can instill hope again, and again, and again.