Today, when I got home from work, the first thing I did was…..build a snowman! Well, not a man made of actual snow….it was a balmy 73 degrees today….but I built my very own snowman despite the weather. =)
This year for my birthday I wasn’t quite ready for the “Warren Birthday Bonanza” (think dancing hamsters and cheesy decorations….which mean lots and lots of family memories in the “birthday box”….) so instead I opted for a peaceful Saturday of movie watching and grilled hamburgers. I know, I know….you had no idea I had such a wild side! After a yummy meal of burgers and grilled asparagus, it was time to open a few presents, one of them from Kelsey being so AWESOME I am saving it for its own blog entry, because that’s how AWESOME it is! But I digress….
As I picked up a small gift bag with sparkly plastic filler spilling out over the sides, Kelsey told me it was from her Dad, and she had assured him I would like it. He admitted he never would have picked it up on his own, but was trusting her advice…..I was so intrigued! The gift weighed practically nothing, so I wasn’t sure what to expect as I carefully pulled away the sparkles and tissue paper to reveal the box. “Is this what is really is? Is it really…..Olaf??”
If you haven’t heard of the newest Disney movie, “Frozen”, it probably means you’re living on your own frozen tundra somewhere away from any sort of civilization….or that you haven’t recently spent time with a 6 year-old, because this movie has taken the animated film industry “by storm!” I won’t recap the plot line for you, but if you haven’t seen the movie yet…..well….you really need to. It’s just so darn cute! Kelsey and I saw it when it first came out, before there were Elsa costumes and You-Tube parodies. We hadn’t heard a thing about it, but were in the mood for something fun, so off we went to the theater and I was hooked at the first song! The music….the animation….the “act of true love” twist and, of course…..Olaf.
This happy little snowman doesn’t let anything get him down, sees the best in everyone and dreams of finding out “whatever snow does in summer.” His name is Olaf….and he likes warm hugs. =) What I found in my birthday bag was a little craft kit to make my very own Olaf, complete with modeling foam and cardboard cutouts. A CRAFT….to make an OLAF? Happy birthday, Shellie! So, today I made an Olaf, and while he’s only round-ish, he makes me smile. =)
As I was rolling the foam into little snowman body-balls, I wondered what it was exactly about this little guy that made me feel all warm inside. He was friendly, funny, and earnest in helping his friends. He was a dreamer, full of wonder (if not reason) and never said an unkind word in his little optimistic life. But I think the one scene that cinched the deal between Olaf and me was when Anna was in dire need of warmth, and Olaf was the only one who could help with the fire. Snowmen and fires….well, we learned from Frosty that the two don’t play well together! But Olaf was more concerned about Anna’s life than his own, and risked everything to keep her safe. Such sacrificial love…
There is something in the human spirit that loves to observe a truly sacrificial act offered for another. It’s the basis for countless movies, novels and plays. It’s something so compelling to us, so out of the ordinary we have to stop and gaze. It makes us wonder what we would do to sacrifice for another person. Family? (Of course!) Friends? (How close of friends…) Strangers? (Ummmmm….let me think….) Truth is, I don’t think any of us truly know what we are capable of offering until called upon to do so. I would like to think I’d melt my snowman self by a fire to save a shivering friend, but I’ve never really been tested in that….
I sometimes wonder why Jesus had to give every last drop of himself for our salvation; surely God could have come up with another way to save this fallen world. But in all that mystery and the things I don’t understand, one thing is perfectly clear; Jesus could have quit. At any moment He could have called the whole “save the world” mission off and just gone back home. But what he did was just the opposite. His deep love for us kept compelling him to keep trying – keep healing – keep teaching – keep seeing the best of what we were meant to be, knowing it would eventually lead him down his own road of suffering, even to the point of death. And yet, he didn’t quit. That’s true sacrificial love!
I haven’t decided just what I’m going to do with my little foam Olaf, but I think I’ll keep him out where I can see him throughout these days of Lent, not because it reminds me of a children’s movie…but because it makes me think of the love that sacrificed all for me. <3