| ||Once a week we have "movie night" at our house. We just started this this year and it's been a fun thing. Don't write me and ask for movie recommendations 'cause I won't be giving them out.|
This past week I rented a movie off my itunes called the "The Fox and the Child." It's a French film. It's kind of Animal Planet meets Little House on the Prairie. Well, not really, but kind of. The animal nature videography is impressive to say the least. You'll be asking yourself, "How in the world did they get that?" As someone who loves videography and photography, the light and details caught in this film are just incredible to me.
It's slow. It's clean but by no means a "christian" film. It's very well done. Most kids I suppose might not find it remotely interesting. Mine did because movies aren't an everyday thing around here and they love nature as much as I do.
Here's the intriguing thing about this film though. It starts out just like another nature film, but there is an underlying message and theme. It's there all along but you don't realize it until it nears the end. I guess I ought to say the message and theme we caught might not at all be what the deliberate message or theme was. I'm really not sure. Maybe the original message is to leave animals alone. Let them be free. You know, environmental theme.
But that really wasn't what stood out to us - maybe because different things come along at just the right time and what we catch through them isn't necessarily what others might see ~ because the message was really just meant for us.
Robert and I sat there cuddled up with the kids around the computer screen struck in the heart by one line that seemed to echo off the mountain ranges of France off the screen and into our souls.
"…She had confused possession for love… but the fox knew what love was all along."
The story begins with an encounter a lonely, young girl has with a small wild fox on her way from school one day. She is intrigued. She enjoys watching the animal, studying it's movements, it's life through the seasons. Over time the fox becomes her obsession. Observing, tracking, and befriending the fox seems to fill the emptiness she feels. Her lonely and isolated life is now filled with days and nights of pondering and following the fox. Her obsession turns to a great desire to possess the fox as her own and force it into her world of cottage living.
In time the girl and the fox become friends and the fox begins to trust her. Little by little, slowly, she entices the fox closer the closer to coming inside of her world, her cottage, her bedroom.
Once she gets the little fox to come up into her little cottage room, she closes the door. Finally! Finally she possesses the fox all to herself to watch, to have as a friend, to enjoy, to keep forever. She is satisfied and pleased with her possession and all her hard work in achieving the beautiful fox's loyalty and trust. The door is shut and the fox is her's.
The instant the door closes, the fox's freedom gone, the fox does what any fox would do. The little fox begins to pace the floor, more frantic by the moment, looking for freedom. It begins to knock things down, jump about, searching for escape.
As the girl tries to calm the fox, coaxing it to accept her world as it's own, the fox spots the one window and a chance for freedom. In one last effort to get out of the small room, the fox jumps through the glass and crashes injured and lifeless to the ground below. The girl's actions had forced the fox to do what it instinctively knew to do: jump to freedom.
Though upset that the fox didn't want to "play the way she wanted to play," the girl is heart broken over the lifeless and injured condition of the fox she has spent endless hours attempting to possess. She returns the fox to it's proper place in the forest, injured and bleeding.
The fox "realizes" all the "love" and devotion the little girl had given was for the purpose of... well -- to possess, to keep, to control, to have for herself, to have it "play the way she wanted to play," to fulfill her empty, lonely heart.
The girl makes continued efforts to earn the trust of the fox once more.
But no, it cannot be done. She had confused possession and obsession for love and the fox is forever scarred and leery of her.
She didn't know what love was.
But the fox did.
She didn't really ever think of the fox. It was about her and how she felt the whole time. She wasn't really meaning to be this way. It started off genuine enough - but it also started out with her great emptiness and lonliness. Over time her obsession grew and grew until that fox was her whole life. Everything revolved around that fox and possessing it as her own, in her own world, in her way.
The fox knew possession was not love. As the girl took more and more of it's freedom, forcing the fox to be like her - the more the fox pulled away. Ultimately the fox hated the girl and would do anything to get away from her. In forcing the fox to be her selfish possession, the girl nearly killed the fox she had worked so hard to get and wanted so badly.
Never again would she have the fox.
Okay, so I just spoiled the movie for anyone thinking of watching it. But I can't help it right now.
Robert and I sat there almost with our jaws dropped to the ground. Here was this simple, and albeit slow childrens' movie, and we sat there is awe of it's subtle but strong message and application to our lives.
Not only did the movie explain relationships we've lived through in our life, continuing to jump through the glass window looking for freedom from the spirit of possession cloaked as "love" - but what a powerful warning and revelation in regards to our own parenting!
It can seem innocent, maybe even right enough - our devotion to having our childrens' hearts and trust. But if our hearts are not filled with the Holy Spirit and we are spiritually empty, we will quickly move to an obsession in possessing our children.
We will think we are loving them, when really it's all about us possessing them.
When we see them as possessions and projects to render our pattern of parenting as perfection (wow, that was a lot of "P" words!) instead of seeing them as people with eternal souls who are individuals not made in the image of us, but image of God - we run the high risk of our little "foxes" leaping through glass windows to find freedom and true love as soon as they are able.
Sadly, there are some children who are raised from childhood in such a way that they think even looking out the glass window or thinking the little cottage room is not their whole world is sin in and of itself, and it's not godly nor "loving" or respecting their parents to even imagine things should be otherwise. They know nothing BUT selfish possession and have been made to believe it is love because possessive love can often be intermixed with great sacrifice for the child on the parents' behalf.
It was the same in the movie. The little girl made great sacrifices, many hours of time, many thoughts and devotion into possessing the fox. But that was not truly loving the fox. To love the fox was to want what was best for the fox, not what the girl thought was best for her.
As parents we can think we are loving our children even as we strip their freedom of individuality and attempt to conform them to be mini us.
We will confuse possession for love. Our obsession in making sure "they play the game the way we want to play" (as the girl says in the film) will blind us to how we are revealing to our childrens' spirit and heart our lack of satisfaction in Christ alone.
Just like the fox in the movie, our children will always know the difference between true love and "love" that is really just controlled possession.
Let's not wait until the fox breaks out through the glass searching for true love and freedom, injuring itself on the way bloodied and wounded - never again able to trust.
Let's not call something "love" that is really obsession and possession rooted in our spiritual emptiness and lack of satisfaction in Christ alone.
If you do watch the movie, be prepared to just sit back and enjoy the beauty of the French country side, striking features of the little girl and fox, and learn from the amazing natural light videography for a bit. Really it's an endearing story in many ways. Just keep your heart open for the message intertwined amidst the luminous mountain scapes and sun flare. Hang in there until the end and see if parenting doesn't come to your mind when all is said and done.
Maybe in relationships you have been in the fox's position - controlled or influenced by people who have said they loved you but really just wanted to possess you. Maybe you have been the obsessive-possessive girl and didn't even know it. I think a lot of us have had a taste of both.
Praise God He can give foxes the courage to break through the windows even if it means injury and wounds on the way out. And praise God He can change the hearts and open the eyes of those who have mistaken possession for love.
Maybe if we have been the little girl, and it's not too late, we can open the door of the room so no window breaking is necessary. . . and we can walk out of the cottage into the great world beyond with our children - walking with them along the way preparing them to one day walk on their own. Freedom instead of possession. Love instead of obsession.
What I am NOT saying here is to let our kids run wild with no restrictions, boundaries, or some protection. I can already hear that accusation coming lol! Anyone knows this doesn't make for a pleasant child. For example - Itty just told me with big elephant tears flowing down her face, "But Mommy, taking a nap hurts my feelings!" To which I do NOT say, "Well, then dear, by all means you need to be free to roam about like a fox and do as you want."
I am writing of our heart's motivation in parenting/relationships and the outcome and consequences of that heart.
Here are some of my favorite memories from our time away last week:
(Playing the day away at the seashore.)
(Favorite catch, and release, of the day.)
(A net full of little tiny clam shells ^ which they then created all kinds of pretty designs with on shore.)
(Morgan took up the boys' beach past time this summer and did well.)
When I left CA. I sold my surf board at a garage sale. Bummer, bad move, but anyhow - we rented a beginners long board this trip and believe it or not, I got out there, baby belly and all, and gave the kids several hours of surf lessons.
Not sure why I haven't taught them to surf before now, but maybe at their ages it's better anyway. Yes, I have pictures of me surfing and it looks hilarious (don't think I've ever before now seen a picture of a very pregnant woman surfing) and I'm not posting it because I'm not up emotionally for the feedback yea or nay lol!
Um, so moving right along. . . the kids really took to the board and had so much fun! I couldn't believe how quickly they picked up on it. I sadly had to inform them though that the gulf does NOT HAVE REAL WAVES and thus, riding "waves" for "real" was not much at all like they were doing.
But, needless to say, it really didn't matter - they/I just had SO much fun and spent the entire afternoon taking turns with me out in the water coaching them through their surf lessons. The water was nice and it's so cool to see how each child does the same event so very differently from the next.
(Christian held the record for riding the board the longest - and probably most determined to master "surfing" immediately ha. At the end of the afternoon he said, "When can I go and see real waves and surf?" I'm pretty sure he's a natural.)
(Scott probably understood the whole idea of catching the wave before the white, and taking it a little less seriously than Christian, enjoyed his wipe-outs equal to his riding.)
(Shelton was by far the most humorous to watch learn. He insisted on going out as far as possible the very first time he had the board. He also was the one who claimed wearing the leash on one's wrist was better than the ankle because then you could do a hand stand on the board while surfing. He did things on the surf board I've really never seen anyone try before. Not that they were successful tries, but entertaining to say the least.)
(And because Morgan won't be outdone by her brothers.)
After supper each evening we would come back to the beach for evening/night fishing and playing. I love this time of day.
(One of my fav. pictures of our time away.)
(Christian spent the majority of his time doing the skim board.)
(One evening as the sun was setting over the dunes.)
(The boys invented several sand games one evening and the kids all played until it got dark. They are never bored and never lack for a playmate.)
(The older ones enjoying the younger ones.)
(All at one view.)
(Fishing after dark. . .)
| ||Posted 7/20/2011 5:42 PM - 4378 Views|