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Money Ain't Got No Soul

October 07, 2014

Reblogged from: Matt Rawle

“The Princess and the Frog” is one of the most underrated Disney animated films. Even though the narrative follows the archetypal Disney fairy tale, the animation is beautiful and the music is glorious. I would love to spill some ink over how each song is modeled after a different genre from the rich South Louisiana heritage, but I want to spend a few minutes thinking only about the song Mama Odie sings near the end of the film.

Prince Naveen and (not yet Princess) Tiana, who were transformed into frogs by the evil Dr. Facilier, seek out a mysterious woman deep in the swamp known as “Mama Odie,” in order to become human again. This eccentric, blind woman of the bayou tells them in order to become human again, they need to “dig a little deeper” into their own being to discover their true identity.

Now, before you think mentioning “dig a little deeper” is in reference to your wallet during this fine Stewardship season, hear me out. Mama Odie sings, “Don’t matter what you look like. Don’t matter what you wear. How many rings you got on your finger, we don’t care. Don’t matter where you come from. Don’t even matter what you are–a dog, a pig, a cow, a goat, we got ‘em all in here. They all knew what they wanted, what they wanted me to do. I told them what they needed, just like I be telling you. You gotta dig a little deeper to find out who you are. You gotta dig a little deeper. It really ain’t that far. When you find out who you are, you find out what you need. Blue skies and sunshine guaranteed . . . money ain’t got no soul. Money ain’t got no heart. All you need is some self control, make yourself a brand new start. You gotta dig a little deeper. Don’t have far to go. Tell the people Mama told you so!

This sounds a lot like Jesus in Luke 12, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing . . . Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Luke 12:22, 33-34).

Is your heart treading water? Is your heart surrounded by “stuff” you don’t need? Is your heart dimly lit because your treasure is wasted on propping up a lifestyle Jesus isn’t asking you to maintain? To put it another way, what makes your heart sing? What causes your eyes to well up with joy? When you do the difficult work of digging down deep inside your self, what does your heart treasure above all else? Maybe you’ve forgotten. I’d say that money can’t buy you love, but that’s a Beatles song and an altogether different post. Money ain’t got no soul. Money ain’t got no heart . . . because it can’t.