Our long weekend didn’t stop when we finally settled home. Since our nephews and nieces were in town and our kids have long been asking for a movie date, we obliged to watch this animated film , the “CROODS” from Dreamworks , makers of our all-time favorites, “Kung-Fu Panda” and “How to Train your Dragon”. Perhaps a slang of Crudes – basic, rough , pre historic – which aptly describes this bunch of cave-dwelling family + a mother –in-law, I was wondering, was there a Filipino in the team of scriptwriters? Somehow the movie portrays a typical Filipino extended family. I quickly dismissed that thought for after all, that’s how it was, families living together in tribal groups. (But I truly love Gran here, and i love my mom-in-law ,too!)
So we were seated comfortably in the movie house, had a great laugh and heard some cute ones from obviously delighted kids. As the movie progressed however, I felt tears on my cheeks already and can’t help but give my 12 yr-old daughter, Dana a bear hug in the scene with Eep ( the eldest , curious , daughter who obviously started their prehistoric, once-in-a-lifetime adventure) and her dad, Grug ( who was described as all brawn, with limited brains!) and the more advanced nomad (as he, most importantly, has discovered how to make light through fire), Guy. Then I snuggled more closely to my husband, trying to hide the tears, though he was also misty-eyed, and so were some of the adults as I tried to sneak a peek from our seats. I was comforted. It is OKAY to cry even if it’s an animated film.
There were just seemingly real moments to us, like these:
1. The all-protective dad – Grug’s motto that has brainwashed his family, but at least, not to Eep, is “Fear keeps us alive. Never not be afraid. .Anything that is new is bad”. In short, fear is your weapon for survival. Even his bedtime stories made him prove his point. In modern times, society dictates, it is the survival of the fittest. Dads, who are the providers and protectors of the family, at times, sacrifice their relationships with their wives and children at the expense of “provision” for the table. Grug said it aptly, “I was just busy, keeping them all alive.” He realized that when they were outside the comfort of their home – the cave. Moments of discomfort will refine us as a person. Similarly, in our walk with God, there will be moments that He will refine us like silver and test us like gold (Zechariah 13:9), so let us be grateful with the “refining and testing” process. The antidote to the Croods’ motto? “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1John 4:18) Later on, as they were forced to move out of the cave, being ushered into a brand-new world and with all the seismic shocks around them, it is when they realized that they can be more compassionate and appreciative of each other. For what compels these but love?
2. The supportive wife – Ugga was the caregiver, the nurturer in the family. The submissive wife (although there was time when they got separated from each other, she had to “think” on her own to get her and li’l Sandy back to their family under a makeshift umbrella and she proved to be a genius! ). She didn’t have a problem with that role, right up until the time when they were at a crossroad. And this part is what I like. She entrusted her life and that of her family to Grug’s executive decision of jumping (well, they were “thrown”, actually!) to the other side. “I don’t have ideas, but I have my strength. It’s all we need.” What a reassuring statement from a husband!
3. The light after darkness – There is a new world coming. One that forcefully moves them out of the darkness in the cave. Apart from the cave, they knew nothing. That is why I think Grug’s ideas were so limited. That was his comfort zone. His territory . He’s thinking not out-of-the cave! Ugga had to tell him what was obvious – “No more caves, Grug.” But out of a flicker of light, hope comes. Out of the light in the horizon, a tiny hope has been sparked. “No more dark. No more caves. What’s the point of all this? To follow the light…We’re going to jump on the sun and ride it to tomorrow!” Grug said this emphatically, and with all the strength that he could muster, he threw his family members one at a time to the other side of the cliff where they were all reconciled in safety. Will they ever survive in the new world? I don’t know. But one thing’s for sure. They chose to follow the light and they will go on as long as it is called tomorrow.
When was the last time that we experienced darkness in our lives? When all we can think about is hiding back into the cave, our comfort zone, even if it is lurking dark, we like it because we “feel” safe. We don’t have to stay in caves for long. We can move out of them or outside circumstances let us move out, like what happened to the Croods. The good news is, there is a light that shines brightly, only if we go out of our caves and reach for it. In the movie, it was cute to see that whenever they saw light, they raised their hands as if to touch it. It was something that they longed for, seemed so near but still out of reach but never out of sight. We can be like that. We see the light, we do not give up, we can reach for the True Light. The One who will illuminate everything and will give us so much joy and freedom! He has an invitation before the “DUN…DUN…DUHHH” ( we keep on mimicking this cute line of the strappin’ monkey, Belt) time arrives!
photo source: fanpop.com
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
– John 8:12