This weekend I had the opportunity to see a showing of the movie adaptation of Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Yes, the book I remember reading as a kid is now in theaters. At first glance I was skeptical how they would piece together this children’s book about a man and a flock of penguins and make it successful story in a full-length movie.
Before I go too far, one thing I should share is that I have always liked penguins. I don’t remember exactly where it began or why it started but there was something about those birds. While I was watching the film it reminded me of thoughts I had as a kid of what it would be like if I really had a pet penguin.
Now there are many reasons to like these creatures but the one that has always stuck with me is their loyalty and devotion. According to Seaworld most penguin species are monogamous and the gentoos are known to re-pair with the same mate 90% of the time. Once there is an egg, the emperor penguins take turns with their mate caring for the egg until it hatches. I have always liked that penguins were so loyal and loving. This was demonstrated in someways as a underlying tenor throughout movie which I found interesting.
Back to Tom Popper who in the movie version of Popper’s Penguins is a successful businessman. He has grown up neglected by his own father and now is struggling to be a good father to his children. While many may look at this as just a children’s film with its slapstick comedy and penguin poo I thought there was something deeper underneath.
With certainty I can say that this movie was not the best story written, the best visual affects nor the best acting I have ever seen, but I sense that when art is created you can see beauty whenever there is truth displayed. I recently read a blog post by Sarah Clarkson where she said, “To dwell in an instant of beauty is to stumble into a pocket of eternity as it bubbles up in time.” Again, the movie on the surface may not be beautiful but I believe the underlying message had moments that shown brightly with beautiful truth.
Tom Popper was broken and desperately wanted to know the love of his father. He spent his whole life growing up with the uncertainty about his father’s love for him. He tried to be successful in his career maybe so he could garner his father’s attention. He struggled to be a good father and a good husband and much of his trouble seemed to be a result from this lack of knowledge that his father truly loved him. He had difficulty loving others because he did not really understand the love of his father.
At the conclusion of the movie there is a turning point where there is a realization of his fathers love and its results are shown throughout Tom Popper’s life as a dad, as a husband, and in his work.
Throughout time, I am sure there have been other similar story lines but I believe the reason why is we have a yearning to know that we are loved by somebody. We especially yearn for this love from a father.
Father’s day was this weekend and I am blessed to have a dad who loves me and who has displayed it throughout his life in his caring, loyalty, and his kindheartedness. Through his example, while not perfect, I have been better able to understand the love of my Heavenly Father who is perfect. The problem with many of us though is that we do not have that good earthly example of a love that is unconditional. So many out there are hurting because they their father left them, or have hurt them, or they are simply not there.
If that is you, I want you to know that there is a Heavenly Father who does loves you and wants you to know it. In the Bible it describes God as a father to the fatherless. It also says that God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. It goes on to say that God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. I hope you see that God has spoken to you and desires a relationship with you but because of our sin it separates us from Him. The Bible says the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life. Because of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross and victory over death we are now made right in front of a Holy God just as if we had never sinned. Since we are made right with God we can now have a personal intimate relationship with God. If this is something you have never considered I pray you consider it today.
For those of you who have humbled yourself and trusted Christ I want to remind you of the power of the Gospel. The Bible says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” Remember this amazing love the Father has given us that He has provided a means so that we can have fellowship with Him. This love should be the motivating factor in all we do in our lives. Just as in the movie, once Popper realized the love of his father the results were clearly evident throughout his life. In the same way, the love we have been shown by God should be a reminder everyday and as such should impact our life every day as we love others.