I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cinderella in the Bible

By Teri Dawn Smith

At a conference not long ago, the keynote speaker made this bold statement: “The seed of every story is found in the Bible.”

Hmm. I decided to test it out. I suppose the typical story of the hero saves the heroine from the evil man isn’t hard to find. Try David and Abigail in I Samuel 25.  Or for a twist, there’s even the damsel saving the hero in chapter 19 of the same book. Who could forget the story of the underdog wins when David slays the giant? Obviously David lived a colorful and adventurous life.

But what about the story of Cinderella? I decided to look for the ugly stepsisters, the lovely young lady, and the Prince. It’s really a “rags to riches” story, and I found it in an unusual place in the book of Ephesians, chapter two.

Chapter two describes the “rags” as dead in trespasses and sin, indulging the desires of the flesh and mind, and living as children of wrath. Pretty tattered rags there! 
And then the riches appear in phrases such as “brought near”, “reconciled”, and “fellow citizens with the saints”.

The Prince also makes His appearance. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, comes that “He might show the surpassing riches of His grace.”

Now, every good story needs a twist, and God has one in His story. We’d like to identify with the beautiful Cinderella and welcome our Prince. But sadly, our sins made us like the ugly stepsisters! But the twist in God’s story is that He takes those living in the rags of sin and brings them into His family. He transforms the ugly stepsister into the princess!

As a writer, my favorite description of God’s transformation is, “we are His workmanship”. Look up that Greek word for “workmanship”, and you’ll find it’s from the Greek word for our English word “poem”. We are God’s poem to this world! May God help us to live so that when our family and friends observe us, they see God’s poem.

Can you think of other famous stories that have their seed in the Bible? Where would you find them?


  1. Interesting idea to ponder. I can't think of another story off the top of my head, but I believe it's true. I once had a science teacher (in our homeschool co-op) tell me that every question you ask about science can be answered in the Bible.

    "For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen." Romans 11:36

  2. Wow, Gabrielle, I've never heard that comment! But I'm going to mention it to my husband. He'll have fun with that!

  3. Great post, Teri. Lots of stuff to chew on. I love what you said about us being God's poem to the world.

  4. I agree, great post. I'm copying Pat (sorry, Pat!), but I also loved the whole idea of us being God's poem to the world. Moved my heart to see us that way. :)

    Let's see, stories. I keep thinking of stories that have themes from the Bible, themes like redemption, like in The Wedding Dress, by Rachel Hauck and in THe Shadow of Your Smile, by Susie.

    Oh, there is historical series by Liz Curtis Higgs that's set in Scotland. It's about two sisters who live out the story of Jacob and Esau. :) It was a great read, and intriguing to see how she brought to life the issues and foibles in the lives of these two sisters.

    Do you smell smoke? My brain was really working hard to remember a story. :) Thanks, Teri.

  5. Thanks Teri, I am pondering the analogy of a "poem". How very beautiful.


  6. Ok, maybe we need some help...Sleeping Beauty...is the seed in the Bible? Maybe Dorcas, raised to life by Peter.

  7. Alena, as writers, I think we relate especially to the Greek word used there!

  8. Great post, Teri! Lots in it to ponder today....

  9. Jeanne, I'm glad you mentioned Liz Curtis Higgs' books -- they are superb. Such a unique retelling of biblical stories.
    And Redeeming Love -- a classic novel and beautiful, gripping retelling of a Bible story.

  10. Yes, Beth, Redeeming Love is an amazing retelling of a Biblical story.

    What about other stories, that aren't so obvious?

  11. Beautiful & true post, Teri. I'm late as I literally spent today on the back 40 (acres) planting seeds & have sunburn to show for it.
    Years ago God gave me a similar thought for a Hist. of Lit. course I put together, that absolutely every genre of lit. has its origins in the Bible, whether poetry, history, epic, biography, autobiography, drama, allegory, etcc. So rich. So fun. We never run out.

  12. Teri, so much beauty and truth in your words. Thank you for sharing. And to think God considers me a poem..what a wonderful thought.