“Stuff and nonsense can be fun,” says Mary Poppins in the new Mary Poppins Returns, and I couldn’t agree more.
More and more as I grow older, I feel the weight of worldly responsibility. Bills to pay, meetings to schedule and attend, a family to care for, and a feeling of inadequacy for all of it. I sympathize with Michael Banks in the movie because so much of his struggle is my own. Even when the magical and mystical Mary Poppins arrives, Michael is still distraught over the circumstances and fails to see the hope that comes with Mary’s arrival. Once again I can sympathize. I’d like to believe that if Mary Poppins showed up at my house I would be more hopeful, but if I’m honest with myself, I know it wouldn’t be so. I, who know the truth that someone great has come and will come again, as well as the truth that the Holy Spirit indwells me, should already be hopeful because One greater than Mary Poppins is here.
So why is it so hard to be hopeful? Here I think Disney has captured an important lesson that I (and maybe others) need to be reminded of daily. We need to delight in the small things in life, the things that children find and play with for hours that I just see as trash cluttering my house. In short, I need “stuff and nonsense” to be fun again. What Mary Poppins Returns offers me is a reawakening of wonder, a delight in the simple things of life. Although much of the movie surrounds a hunt for the elusive bank shares, perhaps the message at the end of the story is that the sketch of the family on the front is what really matters. I’m determined that despite the struggles, despite the challenges, that I want to delight in stuff and nonsense again. I want to retain an eternal appetite of child-like wonder. I want, to put it biblically, to have faith like a child.