Posted by: karanoel | January 16, 2020

Love’s true form

FionaDuring the holiday break, I sat with my sweet little family on our enormous sofa and watched Shrek. While not a fan of the sequels, the first one has remained one of my top five favorite movies since I first saw it nearly 20 years ago. This is partly because it’s immensely clever and makes me smile from ear to ear, but also because it delivers a message that melts my fears with its gospel truth. 

Since you’ve probably seen the movie I won’t summarize the whole thing. The piece that is relevant here is that Princess Fiona is under a curse, which transforms her each evening at the sun’s departure from a beautiful princess to an ugly ogre; a curse that can only be broken by true love’s first kiss when she will take “love’s true form.” She hides the ogre part of herself from all and tries to hasten the moment when love will swallow up her ugliness with beauty.

I can relate. I’ve been aware of my weakness and the ugly parts of myself since I was a small child, wanting nothing more than for those hideous parts of me to disappear, leaving me strong and beautiful, unafraid to show myself (which, I assumed, would require me to be a better version of myself). When I found the Lord – or, I guess, when He found me – I had expectations of how presentable I would become; how good and beautiful I would be. I did my best to look the part and hide the rest until the curse would be broken and the magical transformation would take place. 

When Princess Fiona finally got her kiss, she did indeed transform, but not as expected. Instead of becoming a round-the-clock beautiful princess, she became a full-time ogre. Confused and disappointed, she said, “But I’m supposed to be beautiful.” Shrek, her true love, looked her in the eyes and said, “But you are beautiful.” She smiled and relaxed into the wholeness of love’s true form – an undivided self, completely loved and accepted. It was even better than what she’d been looking for. 

It is the kind of love I found in Jesus, but didn’t know it for a really long time because I kept trying to present my best self and thought He loved me for that. But as I’ve yielded to His embrace and allowed love’s transformation to take place, I’m starting to see that becoming strong and good and beautiful was never my heart’s deepest desire. It was to be found beautiful and to be loved just as I am; uncovered, in the midst of my weakness and ugliest moments. I think it’s what we all crave in our deepest selves. To be granted intimate acceptance that allows us to drop every bit of striving; every facade – our divided selves – and to cast aside all cares of what the world will say when they see who we really are. Because we know that we are loved as we are, now; that we are seen as beautiful even in our ugliness. It’s this great romance that transforms even the ugliest face and the hardest heart, and then reflects its radiant beauty on a world full of ogres in need until they too can receive true love’s first kiss. This, my friends, is the gospel; a love story from start to finish.

Altogether Beautiful

 


Responses

  1. Beautiful, wonderful – thank you!

    On Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 11:16 AM where waves grow sweet wrote:

    > karanoel posted: “During the holiday break, I sat with my sweet little > family on our enormous sofa and watched Shrek. While not a fan of the > sequels, the first one has remained one of my top five favorite movies > since I first saw it nearly 20 years ago. This is partly beca” >

    • This is a belated response, but thanks dad!


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