Provincial Life

The Disney character Belle is supposed to be great: a clever girl, beautiful inside and out. Whatever. I hate neither her nor her story. But actually thinking about her a second, since I just started watching the live action movie for the first time, what’s her existential problem?! Provincial life?!

Shall we ignore our own sheer hypocrisy? Who among us scorns life in a verdant province of France?! Fresh bread, fresh eggs, homegrown goodies, and a tightly-knit community?!

Pardon my cynicism, but isn’t this a lot of what’s wrong with modern thought and story telling? They try to combine beauty and brains, but don’t get too much farther than “marry a prince . . . maybe after you’ve changed him if he’s violent or out of control. . . , because life is all about the pleasures of fine dining and sweep-you-off-your-feet dancing!”

Small town life is not the bad guy, but it’s ridiculed endlessly.

The older I get, the more I want a quiet and peaceful life. The older I get, the more I see how unpeaceful things are in this world. The unrest and chaos get to me, maybe more so this week than others. And, of course, as a mother of small children, there is very, very little quiet. (These days there’s always at least a baseball game on!)

(Go, Astros.)

Anyway, folks. We can do better. Because we don’t have to look down on our communities and our own God-given settings. Can we git up and move? Sure! Freedom! But rarely is provincial life actually bad for us, here in the first world. And, I daresay it would do us all good to remember that.

The doctrine of vocation sure is great. Ours is not a God who scorns farmers, bakers–even if they bake the same breads every day, or those bustling about doing their normal, everyday business. Ours is a God who knows all about laundry day and a little Boy minding His mother. In a “little hometown or a big ol’ city.”

So, while Beauty and the Beast is a sweet story, our story is sweeter still. Even with our own existential crises, monsters, and terribly frightening people.

Hmm. This isn’t the most chipper note for a Friday. 🙂 But God is good. Thanks be to Him!

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Filed under As Christian Writers, Characters, Theological reflection, Writer's Life

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