Rather than discuss the whole movie, I want to focus on a particular scene this time.
Sweet little Agnes, the youngest of Gru’s girls, loves unicorns. And she wants to see a real one. A man tells her that in the woods nearby “a maiden may find one if she is pure in heart.” With this beautiful, simple, child-like faith, Agnes sets out into the woods to find her unicorn, because, “The man said a maiden might find one if she’s pure in heart, and I’m pure in heart!” She trusts the man. She believes in unicorns. And she knows herself to be pure of heart. No self-doubt. No bitterness of disappointed dreams and past experience. Just a pure heart full of faith.
You kind of have to wonder at this point what’s going to happen. Her siblings are trying to prepare her for reality. I mean, everyone knows there are no unicorns, not even in Agnes’s animated world full of minions. There are no unicorns, but how are the writers going to handle this? I mean, surely they aren’t going to just crush Agnes’ faith and hope, right?! We would all feel cheated if they did. They can’t deliver some unicorn just because she wants it to be so—that seems like false promises. Yes, sometimes God works miracles, but other times it feels less like a miracle and more like a cheesy plot manipulation—because we all realize just wanting something doesn’t make it so. And yet, we want her beautiful, child-like faith honored in some way by the writers. We don’t want to see her crushed, because somehow that would be crushing something in us, too. That small spark of childlike faith in us that still hopes somehow Agnes can get her unicorn.
Their solution was pretty brilliant, actually. They managed to satisfy both her faith and our thirst for honesty.
“Gru! I found a unicorn! My life is complete!!!!” Agnes came home with the “unicorn” she’d found in the woods. A cute little white goat that only had one horn. She fully knew that her prayers had been answered and she’d gotten her very own unicorn to love. It may not have technically been a unicorn, but it was an answer to her faith and her prayers. It was white. It did have one horn. It was something to love that was uniquely hers. Agnes had her unicorn.
Gru however, typical of us adults, so steeped in reality we can’t see the magical in the mundane, corrected her. “Honey, that’s not actually a unicorn. It’s a goat with one horn. Sometimes life is like that—you’re hoping for a unicorn and you get a goat instead.” Nothing daunted, Agnes joyfully and contentedly replies, “But he’s the cutest goat in the world!”
Oh to have a heart like Agnes! When our prayers are answered, we can be like Agnes or we can be like Gru. We can see how God HAS answered our prayers, or we can see how He HASN’T. Agnes saw how He had. She saw that God had given her heart’s desire. Gru saw that God hadn’t technically answered her prayers with a uni-corn. He saw disappointment; she saw delight. He saw the mundane and ordinary; she saw the miraculous. It may not have been a unicorn, but is it any less miraculous that a one-horned, pure-white goat bounded out of the forest towards her at the precise moment that she set out to meet one?! She expected to be loved. She expected an answer to her prayers. She expected her pure heart to be honored. He just knew she’d be disappointed…as would he.
When she saw her goat, even after she found out it wasn’t a unicorn, she didn’t see disappointment. She saw the cutest goat in the world, and that was plenty good enough for her—because Agnes truly was pure in heart.
Matthew 5:8 ESV Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God
Psalm 24:4-5 ESV He who has clean hands and a pure heart,… 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Titus 1:15 ESV To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.
Questions for Discussion:
- When a one-horned goat comes in answer to your prayers for a unicorn- what do you see? A unicorn or a goat? An answer to prayer or disappointment? Why?
- How hard is it for you to believe that God loves you? To believe that He can / will answer your prayers?
- What is the “unicorn” you are praying for, hoping for?