Beauty In The Beast
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite movies. The moral of the story is beauty is not skin deep. There is more beyond the surface, if we dare to get over what is pleasing to look at and get to know the heart. The handsome prince was turned off by an old haggard woman and shoved her away, showing that a pretty face may look great, but the heart is what shines through the veil of our skin. You know the story.
Handsome turns into a physical reflection of his heart, hates how he looks and becomes a cranky ball of fur. Enter a beauty who isn’t scared of the monster. She sees the heart behind the roughness. Together they break the curse. Handsome becomes all around attractive and marries the beautiful Belle, who knew there was beauty in the beast.
It is a great story. But it isn’t so simple in real life.
It is incredibly difficult to get past what we see and look at the hearts around us. We see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart. The only way we can see the beauty in the heart is to, with the help of the Spirit, look through God’s eyes.
A similar story. Israel wanted a king, and they got one in Saul. He sparkled on the outside, but his heart turned sour as he turned from the Lord and went his own way. He feared people’s opinions more than God. I know that place. It is hard to believe that when we listen to God and obey Him, people might like us not for how things look, but for our desire to follow truth.
But, it is all about how things look and how we want to be looked at. It becomes what we look for. Beauty. Or a what seems to be beautiful. A cycle of pretty veils hiding lying hearts. Broken spirits that are too ugly for us to spend time with; too complicated to believe that even in the mess there is someone to love.
We dress it up and pucker up. Looking the part, pleasing the masses will only veil us for so long. Where is your heart? There you will find beauty. There is a fine line between looking beautiful and living beautifully.
A tension. The hunt for a new King led to a boy with beautiful eyes and a heart seeking after God, who would bloom into a mam after God’s own heart. Beautiful eyes are what we see, but it is the heart underneath that God cares about. If only we cared as much about the heart, as we fawn over what we see. If only we looked for the heart reflection, the depth instead of the veil.
But we hunt for the beauty, the pleasing to the sight. As Esther was sought out for her outward beauty her pleasing to the eyes looks were just the surface of who she was. A beauty yes, but there was much more depth to her beauty than just her body.
There is a tension here. Outward and inward. Looks and heart. It is not an either or, it is both and. Beauty. It is both in the veil and behind it. The skin and the heart. Surface and depth. Beauty.