The Glad Game

When I was a girl, one of my favorite movies was Pollyanna, about a young girl whose missionary parents die suddenly of the influenza and she must go to live with her very rich, very austere, and very influential aunt (who basically runs the town). Pollyanna is so bent on celebrating the good in everyone and everything that she turns the town upside down with a game she likes to play called “The Glad Game.” The grouchiest people in town soften to her warmth and friendship and soon everyone is in love with Pollyanna. But when tragedy strikes and Pollyanna is rendered paralyzed, she wonders if all her optimism was nothing but silly games, until her aunt and the people of the town give back to her the kind of optimistic, supportive, and joyful love that she’s been offering them.

Perhaps I enjoyed the movie because of the outlandish adventures of a little girl (about my age when I first saw it).  But I think the real reason I loved the movie is because of its redemptive message, and the timeless value of true love.  The impact of that message has stuck with me even into my adult years.  And  when tragedy (of a different kind) has struck in my life, I have been surprised by the power of a love that “never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures in every circumstance…”

Pollyanna’s story is a mere shadow of the redemptive truth of a LOVE that redeems the great tragedy of all time, and gives us the “oil of gladness…beauty for ashes….and love that lasts forever.”

Today I am thankful for “the glad game”–from a secular, Hollywood movie–because even the shadow stories, can expose His light in our lives!

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