It’s finally November, which means we get to leave behind forced fall feelings of October and move on to some real holidays. I didn’t feel like as much of an October Scrooge this year, probably because I was too consumed with Cubs playoff baseball and surviving the first month of Alycia teaching. I also found Halloween to be a little more bearable this year because I have a daughter that we got to dress up as the most adorable Oddish.
We didn’t take Clara trick or treating, but we did celebrate Halloween a few days early at our church’s Fall Festival. We had a trunk or treat at which Alycia and I passed out candy from our Pokémon themed car. One of my favorite parts about passing out candy was seeing all of the kids’ costumes, especially all the little girls dressed as Rey.
When The Force Awakens first hit the theaters I was so excited for Rey. I love Star Wars, but there had been a dearth of strong, female characters. In Rey we not only got a strong female, but we also got our first female main character who also happens to be a Jedi. When she grabbed the lightsaber and stood up to Kylo Ren, I got chills.
Even the other day when The Force Awakens was on TV and Rey was flying the Millenium Falcon, saving Finn and hanging out with Han Solo, I teared up a little bit. Clara was lying on the floor watching the TV and I was so happy that my daughter will have an immediate connection point with the Star Wars universe. When she’s older she’ll have more options for Halloween than just Princess Leia. I love Princess Leia and she’s a great character, but to have a young, female Jedi for Clara to look up to just makes my heart soar.
So I loved seeing all of those little girls dressed as Rey. Even before I had a daughter, from my time working with students, I desperately wanted girls and young women to have great role models. Thankfully Clara doesn’t have to look any further than her mom for a great role model. I know a lot of girls aren’t as lucky to have a mom like Alycia, which is why any positive role model, even in something as insignificant as a movie, is important.
Young girls’ need for positive role models should also encourage us in real life, beyond movies and galaxies far, far away. If you’re a woman, then I’d encourage you to find opportunities to serve girls younger than you. Children’s or youth ministry at church is a great way to influence girls and young women, giving them a positive role model. As a man, I found that I still had great influence on the girls in our youth group; appropriate attention from an adult man goes a long way in making a positive impact in the life of a young woman.
I’ve had plenty of strong women in my life, women who have unquestionably shaped the person that I have become. I look forward to this next generation of strong women, growing up and making an impact for God’s kingdom in this world. Who knows, those little girls dressed as Rey may now be empowered to go out and become the next great leaders, pastors, missionaries, teachers and small group leaders to further God’s kingdom for years to come.
Photo courtesy of HerUniverse.com