A Cinderella Story
By Megan Lacourrege
A few years ago, I was teaching in the parish school of religion to sixth graders. We were studying the Old Testament. When we got to the story of how David became king, I was struck by the similarities to the fairy tale “Cinderella.”
God instructs the prophet Samuel to go to Jesse’s house where he will be told who the next king is.
The seven oldest sons are home. While they all appear fit for the job, God tells Samuel that none of them are the chosen king. Samuel then asks if Jesse has any other sons. David, the youngest, is out taking care of the sheep. Samuel asks that David be brought to him. Then God affirms to Samuel that David is the chosen king, and Samuel anoints him.
You can almost picture the final scene of “Cinderella” while reading David’s story. In both cases, the humblest characters are chosen and raised to prominence and honor.
Recently, I was reading “Cinderella” to my daughter when another comparison came to me. The hatefulness that Cinderella endures from her stepmother and stepsisters is not unlike the experiences of many saints.
I thought about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in particular. When her mother died, her father remarried. Her father and stepmother showed favoritism toward young Elizabeth’s step-siblings, which she found difficult.
Some stories, like Cinderella, are not religious in content but display truth. They teach us some aspect of God because he is truth. They also teach us virtue.
What stories have you shared with your kids that you’ve found God in?