by Susanne Dietze
It's probably just me, but "Beauty and the Beast" seems to be everywhere I look right now.
|"...and her nose stuck in a book..."
A girl like me could relate to Belle...not the beauty part, but the "nose stuck in a book, with a dreamy far-off look" part. I like how Belle sacrifices herself for her papa, how she values truth and love, and how she isn't overly concerned with others' expectations of how she should be.
But there's more. "Beauty and the Beast" has some themes to it which could be interpreted through a Christian lens, IMHO. Because at its heart, it's about a boy who is selfish and unkind, a boy whose arrogant act--his sin--has far-reaching effect. He, his household, his home, and his land are utterly cursed because of his poor choice. And although Belle inspires him to become better than who he is, he can't alter the curse by himself. Something beyond himself is required.
Sort of like us. Sin breaks us, affects our families, injures our environments. And we need a Savior to redeem us.
Not that Belle is like Jesus. Not at all--it's not Belle who breaks the spell. It's Love. I capitalized the "L" on purpose, because I see an eternal-type parallel here.
Okay, I guess I should say SPOILER ALERT before I go any further. If you haven't seen/read/etc any version of Beauty and the Beast, be warned that I'm going to spill the beans. With a youtube video, no less.
When the Beast learns to love and is loved in return, something beautiful happens. There's a total, complete, miraculous restoration: to him, but also to his servants, to his castle and lands.... Everything affected by the curse of Beast's sin is changed, made new, sparkling clean, healthy, and lovely.
When Beast realizes what's happened, he gathers his faithful servants--Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, and Cogsworth--in his embrace. With a look of utter joy and humility on his now-handsome face, he cries, "Look at us!"
(Here's a brief you tube clip which illustrates what I mean better than a still photo can. Go ahead, take a little vacation and enjoy. Or at least skip to the part where Beast hugs his servants.)
I can't help but wonder if this little transformation is a reminder of heaven, right there in Disney-fied glory. We'll be new creations, everything will be made right, and we'll become who we were meant to be all along.
I'm sure we can all think of people in our spheres who are broken, physically, emotionally, spiritually. In my mind, I see a brain-damaged child who hasn't been the same since the accident. I see a woman whose husband's adultery decimated her self-esteem as well as their children's security. I see a shame-filled child who can't meet anyone's eye. I also look in the mirror and grieve those things in myself which seem like they'll never heal this side of glory.
I know this analogy is faulty, but our brokenness was on my mind the last time I watched "Beauty and the Beast." Newly-human Beast cried, "Look at us!" and I instantly thought ahead to that great and glorious day when we are transformed by the glory of Jesus Christ, and I wondered if we will all take a moment to look at one another in wonder and cry the same.
"Look at us! Look at what the Lord has done for us!"
Healed, clean, treasured. Bent and broken no more. Reunited, restored, renewed.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:4-5
In some ways, this post isn't quite right for a "Current Events" day at the Inkwell. It's a "Future Event" post. But I hope in those places where you feel broken, grieved, and troubled, you're encouraged by the news: on the coming Great Day in Glory, all will be well and whole.
I'll be looking for you, but I warn you, I won't look quite the same as I do now. I'll look glorious. And so will you.
Do you struggle to keep an eternal perspective during day-to-day living?
Susanne Dietze has written love stories since she was in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she writes in the hope that her historical romances will encourage and entertain others to the glory of God. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, travel, and spending time with family and friends. She won first place in the Historical category of the 2011-2012 Phoenix Rattler, and her work has finaled in the Genesis, Gotcha!, and Touched By Love Contests. You can visit her on her personal blog, Tea and a Good Book, http://www.susannedietze.blogspot.com/.