Sam: JI-JI! It's Pretty and the Beast!
That made me smile. I love "Pretty" and the Beast. I spent some time reading the original translation the other day (for a speech. Shh!) and it's simply fantastic. I always thought it was about how Beast learns to overcome his selfishness... I've been looking at Beauty's perspective a little more now.
Have you ever loved a monster? I have. All I wanted was to return to my family, my trunkfuls of dresses from my days of splendor, my comfort zone, even to those who found me to be loathed. It's easier to find a familiar monster than try to determine the princes from the beasts.
But, by some author's idea of excitement, we too are captured by fate and we have to be around the Beasts of our life.
For me, I know that it's easy to slip into this idea of hiding up in the prison, mocking the bars and cursing my 'captor'. It's easy to suffer in this martyred stance of Why me? I didn't do anything wrong... and never even see the Beast.
"Tell me, Beauty, do you not find me very ugly?"
"I can not tell a lie... but I believe you are very good-natured."
I thought about this for a long time. I do believe that this compliment, stilted though it may be, was the first that the Beast had received in all the years since his transformation. And, like the human heart, the thing he most desired was to be lovely, or more appropriately, lovable.
Too often, I've passed over the ugliness, the pain, the imprisonment, without even stopping to mutter a brief, "But I believe you are very good-natured."
The fact is, we are surrounded by good-natured monsters who are waiting to hear that they are loved.
The fact is, we are not so beautiful ourselves.
The fact is, souls are lovely.
"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ." 2 Corinthians 2:14-17