Monday, August 28, 2006

God help the outcasts

Whenever my kids are gearing up to leave home, often there's a sudden desire to watch some Disney movies. Last week, we watched Beauty and the Beast, and Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I continued the trend with Lion King yesterday. We hadn't watched these in years.

Hunchback especially flooded me with memories. The movie came out in 1996, and I remember gasping at the inclusion of the below song "God Help the Outcasts." To me, this was one of the first media events that tapped into the growing interest in spirituality that took hold in the '90s.

The fact that Disney was including spiritual content in a major motion picture just demonstrated how mainstream the topic had become. Remember, this was long before 9/11. 9/11 just gave us something central to talk about, but the spirituality trend was already there and quite strong.

So, here are the lyrics. If you'd like to listen to the song, check out this page on YouTube. (The words start about a minute into the clip. Don’t watch the images, though, they don't really match up with the song.)

In the movie, Esmeralda is walking through Notre Dame where she has just claimed sanctuary. She is a gypsy, and this group was persecuted by officialdom at the time of the story. Regular churchgoers are praying as well. Her song goes to an icon of the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus.

Artist: Disney
Song: God help the outcasts
Album: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

I don't know if You can hear me
Or if You're even there
I don't know if You would listen
To a gypsy's prayer
Yes, I know I'm just an outcast
I shouldn't speak to you
Still I see Your face and wonder...
Were You once an outcast too?

God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy
They don't find on earth
God help my people
We look to You still
God help the outcasts
Or nobody will

I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can posess
I ask for God and His angels to bless me

I ask for nothing
I can get by
But I know so many
Less lucky than I
Please help my people
The poor and downtrod
I thought we all were
The children of God
God help the outcasts
Children of God

The first time I heard this song, I sat in the theater with tears streaming down my face. My thoughts mingled with hers in prayer, truly, as my heart ached for all the outcasts the world over.

But I was uplifted by her strong affirmation at the end—"I thought we all were the children of God." This is the genuine truth that fuels the spiritual trend. We are all the children of God, divine Love. Each and everyone has an innate desire to know Spirit and a right to feel loved.

After that movie came out, I started to watch for opportunities to share the message. It became clear to me that the conversation had started long ago and I was just now joining it. I could talk to just about anyone about spirituality and what I'd learned (as long as I kept it from seeming preachy or denominational). And I learned from so many others in ways that deepened my spiritual connection.

So my prayer today is to keep the conversation going. Who can I talk to today about Spirit, in a way that will bless them? And, dear Father-Mother, please lead me to the outcasts who so deserve to hear Your comforting word, and let me help them through You.

Due to traveling, I will not be blogging from August 30 - September 6.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 8/28/2006 08:25:00 AM, Anonymous Dennis (BigRaff) said...

God has put on my heart for many years that we are all children of God, and that His Love is unconditional. You would be amazed at the resistance of the so called "true chrisian" to this message.

When God opened my eyes to the universality of the gospel it set me free. I do not have to hate anymore. I do not have to hate the homosexual, the liberal, the Muslim or anyone from a different religious denomination. It is a burden lifted from me.

Dennis R.

At 8/28/2006 11:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is beautiful !!
thank you...

At 9/08/2006 09:25:00 AM, Anonymous Ronda said...

Dear Laura,

Thank you so much for your blog! It's wonderful! I have cut out the psalm to tape to my fridge and I will be using the Hunchback of Notre Dame song, "God help the out cast" to help teach the Sunday school lesson on Homelessness. (The morning of the day when we walk to raise awareness about homelessness.) I feel truly blessed to have met you. You really are an inspiration. If you want to come sing with us we're at 73 Union Ave at Pearl St. Rehearsal is at 8:30 A. and service is at 10A. Thanks again for sharing your insights!!


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