Over the past few weeks the blockbuster live film of Beauty and the Beast has been capturing the hearts of millions of moviegoers around the world. It is a story that captures the imagination and gives us a vivid illustration of the power of transformation. The film’s musical score has been sauntering through my head for the past several weeks and helping keep the story alive. The melodies also bring to mind the beauty of the images that glide across the screen.
I am blessed to have three granddaughters and for my first viewing of the film I had the delight of sharing the experience with the younger two, 14 and 16 years of age, along with my own daughter. Not only was the film a joy, but also it was great fun to watch the other moviegoers. So many of the little girls came dressed in Belle dresses or princess attire brimming with excitement to see the magical tale. My granddaughters were not wearing such costumes, but had definitely dressed up for the occasion and my 16 year-old had fashioned her long hair in a stunning style much like Belle’s in the animated version of the film. (The moms and grandmas in the theater were smiling over the contrast of our attire of jeans and sweaters.)
My thoughts were also very much caught up in memories of my oldest granddaughter who played the role of Mrs. Potts in a high school production of the musical during her senior year four years ago. I recalled not only the beauty of her singing and the charm of her acting, but also the challenge of auditioning for the role.
It wasn’t my oldest granddaughter’s first musical, but so often those who select someone for a particular role already have an idea of who they will choose for each part out of the students they expect to audition. In this case, my granddaughter’s height and slim body meant she was being looked at as the potential “feather duster” role and it would have been a fine role, but my granddaughter believed in a different possibility that others could not see for her. Not unlike what happens in the story line of the musical, she saw what others missed or could not even fathom.
As she prepared for the audition and the great song “Beauty and the Beast”, she wanted to capture all the ways Mrs. Potts was depicted in action as well as voice. She was aware that to gain the role, she would need to truly be transformed and become Mrs. Potts in that audition. Others auditioned as well, but at the end of the day my granddaughter’s transformation had been so complete there was only one possible choice for the student to play Mrs. Potts. It was my granddaughter and as we watched her performances, she did not disappoint anyone. (She also delighted in every moment!!)
Seeing the film not only brought those memories to mind, but also brought to mind something even more significant. You and I are not so different from the beast in the story. We have never been able to truly be our “best” self and instead have often shown our selfishness, unkindness, and more.
We, too, have needed a transformation that we could not accomplish on our own, “Someone” who would love us and make us into someone better by His sacrifice and perfection, “Someone” who could see something possible in us and for us that no one else could. That “Someone” would also gift us with the Holy Spirit to help us along the way and remind us of the Perfect Prince who loves us best.
That same Prince has now become King of Kings and is eagerly awaiting the day when He will usher us into the marriage supper of the lamb.
Can you envision Him saying, “Be my guest” as we take our places around the table?
It is then that His transformation of us will be complete.
What is the very best news? It is NOT a fairy tale!!