Lady and the Tramp

The Gospel According to Disney – Lady and the Tramp

I received a request to see if I could identify the Christian message in Disney’s ‘Lady and the Tramp,’ so here goes.

In the film, Lady and the Tramp are two characters that are worlds apart in every way. Most noticeable is the fact that Lady is from a home where she is loved and cared for, whereas Tramp roams the streets, has nowhere to go and is constantly pursued by the dogcatcher. On the face of it, there is no way that Tramp has any chance with Lady; she is out of his league. Yet, Lady is attracted to him and they begin to form a close bond. Initially Tramp cannot understand why Lady should want to have a home for he is used to the streets. However, as their relationship develops he discovers that he wants to be where she is and to have a collar showing he belongs to her family.

People sometimes say to me, ‘I could never be a Christian, I’m not good enough,’ or ‘I don’t get, Jesus doesn’t seem to be part of my world.’ For many Jesus is like Lady, all posh, with not a care in the world, whilst they struggle through life, like Tramp, in the best way they can. Yet, when their worlds collide, Tramp finds that Lady loves him and he begins to long for the life she offers.

For me, the greatest wonder was when I discovered Jesus loved me, even though I was so far beneath him and had failed him so miserably. I too, like Tramp with Lady, found myself drawn to Jesus and longed to be part of the life he offered. Again, as Tramp who at first disliked wearing a collar, by the end of the film wears it with pride, so I once turned away from Jesus, but now I delight in wearing his collar and in being a part of his family. Being a Christian isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being accepted and loved. Being a Christian isn’t about duty and doing the right things, but about grace and being cherished for who you are by a God of love. Jesus is so far above us in his perfection, yet still he looks upon us with the deepest, most tender love. The biggest tragedy of today is that so many walk away and close their eyes because they do not think it possible that one so great could care for them. As you think of Lady and the Tramp, perhaps having their meal of spaghetti under the stars, spend a moment wondering what God, who has placed the stars in the heavens, might be saying to you.

                                                                                                John Harries (Chaplain)

Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School by STB