Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise
~ Beauty and the Beast / Tale As Old As Time lyrics
Beauty and the Beast is all the rage right now. The movie has opened and is getting lots of crowds. The musical is coming to Chicago soon. The hype is on.
The story, itself, is a timeless one. It is a story about love, a love that is there for the discovering but, for one reason or another, just not at the surface at the present moment. When it is discovered, however, it has the power to renew.
God’s love is a certainty. It is “just as sure as the sun will rise.” What is uncertain, on the other hand, is whether or not we will respond to God’s love. We are, in many ways, the Beast to God’s Beauty. And God, as Belle, is trying to break into our cold, barren, selfish hearts. If we allow Him in, He will transform us in His merciful love.
What holds us back from God? That is the question that we are challenged to ask ourselves during this season of Lent. If we look at it intellectually, there is nothing that should hold us from embracing God’s love. It is not on the intellectual level but on the level of the heart that we often fail.
Our wants and dreams and desires often veer from God’s path. We want things immediately, we do not like to wait. We want gratification, reward, pleasure, honor, and respect right now. That is why we often immerse ourselves in the creature comforts of the world rather than work to follow the Lord.
Instead of insisting on being served, instead of lording ourselves over others, instead of having our wants fulfilled first, Lent asks us to look out for the needs of others. Whether we realize it or not, God fashioned us to be Beauties to other Beasts. If we come to the aid of another, we might be able to break into that person’s cold heart and help them embrace the Lord.
FAITH ACTION: Look around you today and come to the aid of another. It doe not have to be big enough to make the 10:00 p.m. news. Just give that person a hand.