Most of us are probably familiar with the classic tale as old as time where a young, beautiful girl is imprisoned by a beast who was once a prince but because of his selfishness is turned into a beast by a witch. Through an odd course of events they fall in love and the beast is saved and turns back into the prince, only now he is a changed man, and not just physically. Love has changed him and he has seen the error of his ways. Somehow, the beautiful girl is able to see the beauty within the beast and bring it out of him. The beast just needed someone to show him a measure of kindness. Someone with a little grace and mercy to show him what love looks like. Can you relate to the beast at all?
My youngest daughters dance troupe recently performed this classic tale. My daughter played the beautiful girl alongside her very good friend as the beast. As I watched them dance, it got the wheels in my head turning, asking this question: Isn’t there, within each of us, a little bit of the beast?
There may be more beast in some people than others, but it’s there. The beast that comes out when a car cuts us off or the other person got the promotion you thought you deserved. Maybe the beast comes out after a long day at work when you get home to the kids running around making messes and the bills need paid and the dishes washed as well as the grimy, little faces of your kids. Maybe you have been the recipient of another’s beastly mood and that brought out the beast in you.
Maybe we can learn a lesson from the girl in the story here. She saw through the beast. Saw that there was more to him than just beast. She showed him kindness which he then returned to her. Now, I’m not suggesting that all we have to do is show one act of kindness to the beasts in our lives and we all live happily ever after, but what I am suggesting is that maybe if you look a little deeper than the surface of the beast, that underneath it all there is probably someone in desperate need of another to show kindness and mercy to them.
Making all the Difference
We may never know what battles a person is dealing with-and there is not one of us that does not deal with something! So it begs the question: if we are all dealing with the beast within each of us, shouldn’t we be merciful and show kindness to one another? Maybe if we could take a moment to see the treasure of each person and not just see the beast they are portraying, we could be more like the girl in the story. We could bring out the beauty within the beast because both lie within each and every one of us. Who knows what difference you may make in someone’s life just by showing them a measure of kindness, giving them a moment to treasure? It may be their only one of the day, of the week or maybe even the year!
If we want to be shown kindness, shouldn’t we show kindness? If we want people to understand our beasts, shouldn’t we try and understand theirs? After all, there is a beauty within each beast and a beast within each beauty.
Oh, and when the beast does appear, there are three little words that can go a long way to making a big difference in taming the beast: “I am sorry”!
In Matthew 5:7, Jesus tells us this, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Do this and you never know what beauty may emerge from the beast!