Cinderella: So This Is What Love Is

by Yo Snyder

One of my favorite moments from Disney’s animated classic Cinderella is the scene where Cinderella and the Prince waltz around the castle. The scene is set to an achingly romantic song entitled “So This Is Love.” It’s a beautiful scene and a beautiful song that vividly captures our heart’s wistful desire for romance and love. Yet, as beautiful as that scene is, might it be missing the point when it comes to what love really is?

Just as an interesting exercise, I tried to visualize what the impact of that song might be if it were set to different visuals; see what you think:

So this is love, mmmm hmmm mmm, so this love So this is what makes life divine

[“Then they spit on his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him…” Matthew 26:72]

I’m all aglow, mmmm hmmmm mmm, and now I know The key to all heaven is mine

[“They all answered, ‘Crucify him!’ ‘Why, What crime has he committed?’ asked Pilate. By they shouted all the louder, ‘Crucify him!’” Matthew 27:22-23]

My heart has wings, mmmm hmmmm mmm, and I can fly I’ll touch every star in the sky

[“…and then they twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him…They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again…” Matthew 27:29-30]

So this is the miracle that I’ve been dreaming of

[“When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him…It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining…” Luke 23:33. “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.” Matthew 27:50]

So this is love, mmm hmmmm mmm, so this is love

[When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” Matthew 27:54. “The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, he has risen…’” Matthew 28:5]

Yeah, it sort of makes it a different song, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s not as romantic, but I think it fits quite well. For a song that sings about what love is, that it’s what makes life divine, that it’s the miracle I’ve been dreaming of, it seems to only make sense that what it should really be singing about is the death and resurrection of Christ, which is the perfect illustration of what love is.

So this is love: a man beaten, bruised, mocked, spit upon, ridiculed and humiliated. So this is love: nails piercing flesh as blood flows freely. So this is love: a gasping breath saying “Father forgive them…” So this is love: an innocent man, a loving God, dying a criminal’s death so that we might be spared. So this is love: an empty cross, an empty grave, and a promise of new life for all who believe.

Hey, I love a good romance as much as the next person, and I love seeing the Prince and Cinderella spinning and dancing on a magical, moonlight night. It’s beautiful, it’s romantic, it’s…not really what love is. This is love: something dirty, something bloody, something brutal, something done on our behalf; a sacrifice, a life given, a life reclaimed, and a gift bestowed on those less than worthy. Yes, that is love. That is what makes life divine. Our world desperately wants love, but they just don’t know how to recognize it; they think it’s waltzing with a Prince or Princess in a castle garden. Well, maybe those of us who have found the miracle that we’ve been dreaming of can share with others who are longing for love with all their being that what they’re really looking for is a love that’s much bloodier, and far more powerful.