Friday, October 26, 2007

Crying Over Vegetables

This past week I was watching a children’s movie with my kids and started blubbing all over myself. That is a really embarrassing thing to admit, especially since my two daughters were not crying, but there you go… I cried during an animated movie, and to be more specific, it was the new Veggie Tales movie, The Wizard of Ha’s. I didn’t mean to start crying all over the place, but that Jr. Asparagus crawled right down inside my heart and broke it in two. I felt the breakdown coming, and part of me wanted to switch the TV over to Sports Center real quick so I could hold it together, but another part of me wanted to hang in there and have a really good cry…

You see, the new Veggie Tales movie is a re-telling of Jesus’ parable in Luke 15 about a dad who had two sons and how one of them ran away, hating his dad and the life he had at home. The son went out looking for life on his terms and wound up wasting everything and ending up empty and alone. He wanted to go home again, but knew that after all he had done, he could never be considered a son. Finally, he decided to go home to his father and apply for a job. Jesus said that, “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

In the Veggie version, Darby McGill is a young asparagus who lives with his dad on their dental floss farm. All he wants to do in the world is go to this new amusement park called “The Land of Ha’s” which is marketed as the funnest place on earth. He wants to ride roller coasters and eat cotton candy, but more than anything he wants to play on one of those blow-up bouncing castles where you jump around and knock your heads together… His dad tells him they can’t afford it because they have the floss harvest coming up and they don’t have the money, so Darby gets mad and sings a song about how he just wants to get away from the lousy farm and go somewhere where he has no boss and can do whatever he wants to do.

Well, a tornado sweeps Darby and his pet pig ‘Tutu’ off to “Munchie Land” where he has to follow Yellow McToad to the Wizard of Ha’s. Along the way he meets some very predictable friends and they make it to the amusement park where they have a blast and spend all of Darby’s money. When everything is gone, Darby winds up in a dungeon-like garbage dump wishing he could go home. That’s when he remembers his dad’s farm hands and decides to go back and ask his dad for a job.

While he was on his way home, he was practicing his speech: “Dad… no, Mr. McGill… no, Farmer McGill…” And his dad saw him, ran to meet him and swept him up in this huge hug saying, “My son, my son!” (That’s the part where my tears started busting out!) His dad said, “Get some cake! Get some ice cream! Get one of those bouncing castles! My son is home!” …Oh man, I was a mess and my two daughters were looking at me like I was some kind of alien life-form. Norah traced the tears going down my face and then slammed me with the biggest two-year-old hug you’ve ever seen.

Yesterday, Anna wanted to watch the movie again and as we started it she looked at me and said, “Dad, are you going to cry again?” And I said, “Yeah, probably.” Anna said, “You like that hugging part don’t you Dad?” And I got to tell her why I loved that hugging part so much… why I cried about a cartoon… because that story is my story. It’s that old, same story about people who want to do whatever they want to do and a Father who always takes them back… it was the Gospel told to me by vegetables and it was Good News indeed.


Laura Ashley said...

good story. I've never watch Veggie Tales. I didn't know it was basically Bible stories...I thought it was just a "christian cartoon".

The Hull Munchkins said...

oh my, you almost had me in tears! Thanks for sharing the Vegetables' version of God loving on His children. I needed to hear it again today.

Raychel said...

I stumbled along your blog.

Through high school I was very involved in YL and this past summer I got the absolutely amazing opportunity to be on Work Crew at Frontier Ranch.

Reading your blog reminds me of our really awesome and dedicated bosses! :)

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