The other day, I was watching The Lion King with O. I love The Lion King. Partly because my brother loved The Lion King when we were little, so I've seen it, like, a thousand times. And partly because I have always loved one particular scene.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it's about a young lion cub named Simba, who will someday grow up and take his father's (Mufasa) place as king of the Pride Lands. Simba has an uncle named Scar, who wants nothing more than to be king himself. So, Scar along with his three henchmen (hench-hyenas?) set a plan into motion. Scar lures SImba down into a ravine. The hyenas start a wildebeest stampede that goes through the ravine. Scar runs to get Mufasa's help. Mufasa bravely battles his way through the pounding hooves of the wildebeest herd and finds Simba, who has scrambled up in to an old, dead tree, just as the branch breaks and saves him. He then places Simba up onto a ledge in the edge of the ravine and gets carried away by the wildebeest. He manages to escape them and climbs up, where Scar is watching. Towards the top, Mufasa starts to slip, and calls out to Scar for help. Scar flings him down to get trampled by the wildebeest. Simba, witnessing his father fall, is heartbroken. As soon as the ravine is cleared, he runs down to find a lifeless Mufasa. As he mourns, Scar comes up behind him and makes him think that it was his fault that Mufasa is dead and tells Simba that he needs to run away. Run away and never return. Simba does. Scar doesn't want to take any chances and send the hyenas after him. Simba ends up losing the hyenas when he goes through some pretty thick thorn bushes. They decide it's not worth getting poked over- especially when on the other side is a desert. There's no way he can survive there, right? Fortunately for Simba, he's found by meerkat Timon and warthog Pumba, who are outcasts themselves. They take Simba to their jungle oasis and teach him their motto of "Hakuna Matata" - No Worries. Fast forward and Simba is an adult now. Still living happily with Timon and Pumba, completely oblivious to the turmoil now plaguing his former homeland. That is until, Nala, his best friend from childhood shows up. She tells him that Scar and his hyenas have ruined the Pride Lands. There's no food, which is why she's out hunting so far from home. She is overjoyed that she's found him, because now he can come home and take his place as the true king. Simba, battling guilt from thinking he killed his father and with a healthy dose of "Hakuna Matata" tells Nala, he won't be going back and he definitely won't be taking his place as king. After arguing with Nala about why he won't go back, Simba is pacing, feeling sorry for himself, feeling lost. Enter Rafiki. Kooky baboon/shaman. Rafiki begins to follow Simba.
S "Who are you?"
R "The question is, who are you?"
S, hangs his head "I thought I knew. Now, I'm not so sure."
R "Well, I know who you are. Shhh. Come here, it's a secret." Pulls Simba close and begins to sing gibberish.
S, frustrated "Enough already! What is that supposed to mean anyway?"
R "It means: You are a baboon and I'm not." he laughs.
S "I think you're a little confused."
R "Wrong! I'm not the one who's confused. You don't even know who you are!"
S "Oh, and I suppose you do." he starts to walk away.
R "Sure do. You're Mufasa's boy. Bye!" He runs off. Simba chases after him. He finally catches up to him meditating on a rock..
S "You knew my father?"
R "Correction, I know your father."
S "I hate to tell you this, but he died. A long time ago."
R "Nope! Wrong again. He's alive! And I'll show him to you. You follow old Rafiki. He knows the way!" They run through a bung of dense mangled tree limbs and vegetation before reaching a pond.
R "Shh. Look down there." Simba quietly approaches the pond, where he sees his reflection.
S, sighs "That's not my father. That's just my reflection."
R "No, look harder." He turns Simba's head back toward the water. He touches the water with the pointer finger of his other hand. This time, as the ripples clear, Simba sees Mufasa's reflection, rather than his own.
R "You see, he lives in you." Simba hears Mufasa's voice say his name and looks up.
S "Father?" Simba sees clouds swirling, leaving a giant, lion-shaped hole in the middle. Eventually, Mufasa appears in the giant lion-shaped hole.
M "Simba. You have forgotten me."
S "No! How could I?"
M "You have forgotten who you are, and so forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the circle of life."
S "How can I go back? I'm not who I used to be."
M "Remember who you are. You are my son and the one true king. Remember." Mufasa's cloud begins to recede, continually urging Simba to "remember" until it disappears altogether.
Having received the motivation he needs to return to the Pride Lands, he sets off. In the morning Nala, Timon and Pumba notice Simba missing and Rafiki simply tells them "The king has returned." Nala is ecstatic and his friends can't let him face peril alone, so they catch up to him just outside the Pride Lands. Simba is surprised at what he sees. The once verdant, fertile Pride Lands are now nothing but dead plants and dust. Simba tells Nala to rally the lionesses, he's going to find Scar and asks Timon and Pumba to be a distraction for the hyenas. As Simba approaches, he hears Scar yell for his mother and demands a status report from their hunting party. Simba's mom, Sarabi, tells him everything is gone and they have no choice to move on. Scar tells her they're not going and since he's the king he can do what he wants. Sarabi tells him that he's not half the king Mufasa was. As Scar strikes her, lightning flashes and Simba appears. Everyone thinks he's Mufasa, until he reveals his true identity. Simba tells him that he's back to take his place. Scar points out that he has the hyenas on his side, but tries to use guilt to break Simba, by making him admit that he killed Mufasa. As Scar continues to egg Simba on, he inches him closer and closer to a cliff. Simba loses his footing and slips off, ending up in the same position that Mufasa had been in. As he dangles there, Scar admits to Simba that he is actually the one that killed Mufasa, this gives Simba all the oomph he needs to launch back up on to the rock and pin Scar. Scar admits to the whole pride what he just admitted to Simba, at which point, mayhem ensues as it's lions (and Timon, Pumba and Rafiki) vs. hyenas and Simba vs. Scar in the battle for the Pride Lands. Eventually, good prevails and the lions reclaim control over the Pride Lands as life-giving rain begins to fall. In the end, Simba and Nala are having their only little lion cub raised over a fully recovered Pride Rock.
As I watched the scene above, I thought how nice it would be on days when I was feeling lost and confused, overwhelmed by the feeling of losing myself to have someone, like Rafiki, come up to me and go, "I know who you are! You're God's kid!" and remind me where my true identity comes from.
The next morning I woke up with a notification on my phone from Pinterest, letting me know that they found some pins they thought I'd like. I opened the app, and the very first pin they thought I'd like was a beautiful water color floral wreath painted around the words "You are a child of God." I was completely speechless. Speechless, and overwhelmed by the reminder of who I really am. I am a child of God.