June 14th is Music Appreciation Sunday, and I thought it might be kind of fun to use my devotionals over the next two weeks as a warm-up to my sermon on that Sunday. Today’s devotional is all about Mary Poppins. I love this movie. I love it! The story, the message, the acting, and of course, the music! What glorious music this movie has. I even like “Step in Time”, which arguably is only in the movie to get from random point A to random point B, and to give everyone a dance number.
Megan and I first introduced our daughter, Lily, to Mary Poppins around the time she was 2, playing various scenes with their musical numbers. I probably had not seen the movie in well over a decade, maybe longer. I often talk about time travel through memories. Well, this was one of those occasions. Many of the feelings that the movie gave me as a child or young man were still there, but the context with which I was able to view them had deepened vastly. There was more water to draw from the well, and a new connection was made to my childhood. I was watching the movie as a father. Megan was watching it as a mother, and our daughter was watching it with new eyes and ears, taking it in as the magical experience that it is.
The movie is pure magic. A story, at its core, about reconciliation. I cry every single time I hear Mr. Banks half sing the line, “A man has dreams of walking with giants, to carve his niche in the edifice of time, before the mortar of his zeal has a chance to congeal.” Oh my gosh, what a glorious line, and every time I hear it, it is a reminder not to go too far down my personal rabbit holes at the expense of my family. Having all of this time working in the church, and hearing “Feed the Birds” is all too real, and I become very emotional at that scene, as well. The music swells and Mary sings about the “banks and cathedrals”, and the animation draws skyward showing the literal height and prowess of these massive institutions, all the while juxtaposing the scene around an outcast (presumably) asking for a small act of kindness to be performed. Powerful, powerful messages wrapped in song, as opposed to being lectured to by a monologue. I find that so interesting, the way we interact with our feelings while listening to music. How we are often more open and more vulnerable engaging ideas through music, as opposed to lecture. Having the movie end with a whimsical flying of kites always seemed rather anticlimactic to me as a child, but now I understand. The community stops everything they are doing to enjoy a moment in time. The father, transformed through his humble journey, is mending his family back together by mending a kite. It could be a book in the Bible, it is so powerful!
If you can, I highly recommend finding the time to watch this movie over the next week. Make it a family movie night, get a group together and text about it (while watching from separate locations), or watch it alone and email me as you watch the movie. In some way, even if it is small, try and enjoy it with others. Hopefully, it will reaffirm or reignite the whimsical within you. Or if you see yourself too closely resembling Mr. Banks, know that many things we think cannot be mended absolutely can be.
“With tuppence for paper and strings, you can have your own set of wings. With your feet on the ground, you’re a bird in flight, with your fist holding tight to the string of your kite. Oh, oh, oh…”