Sunday, October 18, 2015
But maybe they are right. I watched a movie for the second time recently that has had me thinking a lot about God, true beauty and love, and the change God can make in us.
Beastly is a modern retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Kyle is a young man who has it all: looks, money, popularity, a beautiful girlfriend, and anything he wants. His mother left when he was little, and he has a news anchor father who rarely pays attention to him. Kyle is arrogant, conceited, treats those badly that he considers beneath him, and is an all around jerk.
Then he treats the wrong person badly. Enter the witch. No, I don't believe in witches, but even a modern day retelling of a fairy tale needs a witch, I guess. The witch, a fellow classmate, puts a curse on Kyle, taking away his good looks and leaving him looking like a monster. He has one year to have a girl fall in love with him and say "I love you", or he will remain a freak for the rest of his life.
His father immediately tries doctors, but nothing can be done, so he gets his son an apartment to hide out in and deserts him.
Kyle ends up convincing a drug addict who has bad guys after him and his daughter, Lindy, to let Kyle protect his daughter, a former classmate of Kyle's. She at first feels like a prisoner hiding out in an apartment from bad guys wanting to kill her and her father, and protected by a young man in a hoodie who never shows his face.
Until one day he does. She gets to know this young man as Hunter and as he changes and becomes selfless in his desire to protect her and make her happy, she falls in love with him and sees him for what he is inside, not outside. In the one ending, she eventually tells him that she loves him as she is leaving for a trip. She changes her mind about the trip and runs outside to catch him, but he is gone..... but the arrogant Kyle who used to go to her school is standing there. Cue sweet ending as she realizes the ugly guy she fell in love with is the hot jerk she had had a slight crush on.
It is a cool story, and remarkably clean and free of sex or hints of sex. And it is the story of me, and and many others.
In the alternate ending, Kyle as the ugly Hunter is trying to find Lindy at the airport. It is the first time he has been in public in daylight, and there are gasps from all of the young people who stare at him in horror. One kid asks him who he is. Kyle turns, takes down his hood to reveal his face and head completely, and goes "Who am I? I am just me, turned inside out."
No one knows what is inside of us, the ugliness, the scars, the things we hide or try to hide from the world..... but it is there. We may not have to wear a hoodie and only go out at night to keep people from seeing what we are truly like, but it is there..... for God to see.
In the final scene in the main ending, Lindy is rushing to find Hunter, while the boy who was Hunter and is now again Kyle is trying to tell her that it was him all along. As she is walking fast calling for Hunter, Kyle is talking to her:
Conversation as Lindly exits the airport door, almost running into Kyle:
Lindy: Hunter! Kyle! Sorry, I’m looking for someone. I don’t mean to be rude.
Kyle: I get it.
Lindy: Thanks. And sometime, you’ll tell me what happened to you.
Kyle: I met someone.
Lindy: That’s great.
Kyle: She reminds me of you. And she showed me that love can change you.
Kyle: Do you think love can change you?
Lindy: Of course.
Kyle: Then you’ll believe the story I’m about to tell you.
Lindy: Where is he?
Kyle: It’s about a guy, good-looking on the outside, ugly on the inside. And there’s a curse. Love changes him.
Lindy: Everyone knows that story.
Kyle: What if it wasn’t a story? What if it were true?
*Lindy calling Hunter’s phone and it’s ringing in Kyle’s pocket*
Kyle: Can you imagine that love? Can you?
Lindy: ( as she realizes Kyle is the Hunter she fell in love with) Yeah. It’s you.
Beastly, a story about a young man who was very ugly on the inside, and as a result turned ugly on the outside, but the love of a beautiful young girl changed him on the inside, which changed the outside back to beautiful. The movie is as much of a fairy tale as the fairy tale it is retelling.
Yet anyone who has experienced the love of Jesus knows that it doesn't have to be a fairy tale. No matter what we are like inside, no matter the ugliness, the scars no one sees, the horrible sins we may have committed..... Jesus loves us. Nothing we can do can change that love or diminish it.
In the movie, Lindy's love changed Kyle's outward appearance from ugly and freaky back to good looking. But his inside had to change first. Had he remained the selfish and self absorbed jerk that he had been, she would never have fallen in love with him. Jesus changes the inside and that also changes the outside, but He died for us to show His love, which is more than happens in a fairy tale.
In the closing scene, Kyle tells Lindy about a good looking guy who is ugly on the inside, but love changes him. He then asks "Can you imagine that love?" As the movie ended, I thought to myself "Can you imagine that love?" A love that would send the Son of God to a cross to die for my sins and the sins of the world. A love that causes Him to pursue us relentlessly through life, lovingly trying to bring us to Him..... and when we come to Him, he changes us far more than any earthly love could ever do.
Can you imagine that love? Yes I can. for that love is mine and redeemed this sinner. And oh what a love.