2014 Lenten Devotional – “40 Days Of Disney” – Day Eight
Song #33 – “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” – Hercules
Hercules represents one of those under-appreciated gems during the decline of the Disney animated-musical in the late 90’s, telling the tale of the famed Greek demigod with as much artistic license as is custom for the studio. In the song, “I Won’t Say (I’m In Love),” the anti-heroine of the film, Meg, sings about her conflicting feelings towards the films protagonist, Hercules. She clearly has romantic feelings towards the son of Zeus, but is reluctant to admit them, based on her past failings on the playing field of love.
Unlike the English word, “love,” the Bible, written primarily in Hebrew (OT) and Greek (NT), is full of a variety of words used to explain that single word, “love.” “Eros,” (think – erotic) refers to romantic love, most likely the type of love Meg is referencing in our song. This is the love glorified (for better or worse) by Hollywood and Hallmark. “Phileo” (think – Philadelphia) refers to “brotherly love,” a love that is deeply familial and friendly. Finally, there’s “agape,” the type of love Jesus most commonly referenced and exhibited, a love for others, even a love for enemies. This is that love spoken of in John 3:16, where, “God so [agape] loved the world…” It appears that Meg was hung up on a very shallow, 21st century definition of “eros” love, and as she began singing her song, was actually struggling with the possibility that she was experiencing a deeper, more wholly-rounded type of biblical love.
God of love, we are so preconditioned by society to define love only on terms of physicality and attraction. Help us to experience a different, yet greater love, deeply rooted, and offered to all. Amen.