Yes, I’ve seen The Greatest Showman four times….so far. Don’t “movie shame” me people. It’s probably my favorite movie of all time. It’s a story about PT Barnum and his circus. It’s a great movie with God’s character and desires woven through the whole thing. Some things that stuck out to me I’m going to bring to the surface in this article.
PT is very much a dreamer and dreams of the impossible which I absolutely believe we could benefit by doing more often. I believe the One who created this wonderful world we live in has to be quite the Dreamer Himself, don’t you think? PT lives in a world without limits. He steadily turns what would look like defeat into opportunities used for his advantage and blessing. He does not leave room for discouragement in his life. He turns his critics words into cheers to rally him onward. We all need a little more of that kind of tenacity don’t we? I believe that PT’s character in this movie represented the Father’s heart quite well throughout the whole movie. The only way it didn’t was that PT was a bit of a exaggerator and left out facts when it came what he felt he had to do and say to see his dream come alive. God never lies or exaggerates.
What I absolutely love is the way he gathers the unlikely and those who are hidden due to the physical “defects” they were born with. PT sees these things as what makes them unique and what makes each of them beautiful. He saw them as something to celebrate and spotlight. Oh, how that carries the Father’s heart to see every one of our faces and hear every one of our voices. This group came out of the shadows and formed a family who learned to celebrate themselves and each other. I think we need more celebrating of our differences in our cities, towns, and churches.
The high class people of the city (the religious/pharisees) as well as some of the common townspeople (the world) wanted the circus out of their town and called the people in the show “freaks”. They were both condescending and heartless. Meanwhile the people involved in the circus were filled with joy, acceptance, and a sense of family for the first time in their lives.
My favorite scene in the whole movie is where PT is trying to convince a young socialite, Philip, to join his team. This is not an easy task as Philip is quite comfortable with his high class but boring life and thinks it would cost him too much as far as his reputation is concerned. They are sitting in a bar and I can almost hear the whole conversation going down as being between the Holy Spirit and someone stuck in religiosity. They are taking shots (new wine) and singing and dancing the whole time. I love hearing PT offering Philip that he will have joy and laughter and will find a life worth living if he accepts his offer. He takes PT up on his offer and never looks back.
Through the movie PT is accused of selling that which is fake because of his reputation for exaggerating the facts to get more people in to the shows. So PT goes on a search for something he thinks is real and starts to pursue the high class life with it’s priorities that Philip had just left without regret, only to find that what was real was right in front of him the whole time. The things the world was rejecting as “fake” was real the whole time. The fruit was real. It was the laughter and joy and an abundance of love in this family of “outcasts” that was real and lasting.
I believe the church that God is building looks a bit more like that circus than the angry judgmental villagers who were picketing outside the building. I believe God truly likes how He made us with our quirks and oddities, I believe we make Him smile when He looks at us. I believe if we would be more honest about ourselves we would find we all have those areas we have tried to hide. What happens if we create a safe place for people to dare to be honest about those things? What if we truly reached out in love to those branded unlovable? I believe it would be wonderful. I believe it would be spectacular. I believe we would end up seeing God as the GREATEST SHOWMAN OF ALL TIME! I believe that’s His heart. I believe He would do amazing things… in fact…I BELIEVE HE WILL!
When you are walking hand in hand with the Greatest Showman of ALL TIME, He’s gonna show you things. It will be magnificent!