This is a theme for yesterday and today, from TV and Internet browsing and thoughts running around in the fields of my mind.
First, I took a look at http://www.totalcreeper.com/ after a redirect from some comedy site (BTW- IT’S NOT PORN or anything dangerous or such. Just sad. Might be bad language) It reminded me a lot of the horrors of http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/ (IT’S JUST LIKE ABOVE, but definitely bad language.) Sad words, sad thoughts.
Next, I have been watching the Glee marathon on Oxygen. Yeah, I know. But the episode I just watched was partly about the character of Beist and her challenge to see herself as beautiful. And Kurt trying to find his voice and identity.
Finally, the ad for a new movie showed during the commercial break: Beastly. http://www.beastlythemovie.com/ Either it’s good planning by the people over at Oxygen to run the commercial during the “Beist” episode, or a God thing. Or both.
The other day, we were sharing our pet peeves, and I thought about what I wanted to say. People who clap out of time. That used to be my old standby, but I actually like it now. Eggs? No. Two and a Half Men? That’s just obvious. People who like Two and a Half Men? That’s just cruel.
So I said something along these lines: “I can’t stand people who refuse to open their minds and look beyond their area of understanding.” That is awkwardly phrased, and it was probably more awkward than that. But it was such.
It is a pet peeve of mine. Learned in elementary school where I got to know people of different cultures, relearned when I saw myself being a cruel little kid to the “less cool” kids in school, empathized when I became one of the “less cool” kids from middle school to high school and generally understood over my life as an outsider, an oddball. Not just that I can’t stand it when people look at me and don’t understand who I really am, but even more when people see my friends or others and can’t look beyond simple appearances.
We are a culture of image. We try to imitate the beautiful, successful ones, whether we realize it or not. Even our idea of “perfected bodies” or “angels”- we typically think of bright glowing skin (usually white) and youthful, thin, unblemished appearance. What if we spent forever in eternity as chubby individuals with potmarked faces for every sin we committed on earth? Now, I’m not putting out a theological view—simply dreaming a “What If?”
People are beautiful. All people. And not just some on the outside, some on the inside. It’s both. Because as they say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But you’ll argue, “Does that mean beauty is subjective? Are there any standards of truth, goodness, beauty? Yes. External. Because the beholder is God. And we are his art. Yes, we are sinful and fallen, much like a painting that has been destroyed over the ages. But God is the painter. He sees the original as well as the present condition as well as the redeemed possibility. And when He looks at us, He sees “the image of God” within us all.
The difference is the person who refuses to see the beauty in others. Like a wire coiling around itself, all they can see is things from their perspective, their eyes, their standards. And so they look at others and see them as nothing but animals and creatures. Such is the case with the websites above. They throw around insults and tear down other people that they forget it’s supposed to be humor. Sure, maybe you can laugh at someone’s awkward clothing or bad hair day. But it just gets twisted and perverted and turns wrong—such as seen before. If you say, “But it’s just a joke.” I say “Fine.” But the words we say and the words we read are like air we breathe. If we breathe out foul air, there’s probably something foul underneath. If we breathe in foul air, it’s gonna get at us eventually. Now, yes, those people are loved by God and beautiful as well. Heck, I’m sure their wit is God given. And I’m not better than them. This is just a personal thought of what is going on over there.
In Glee, we see people trying to find their identity, find their own meaning in life. I’ve posted about it before. Probably a lot of the same thoughts are coming up again. But with Beist, we see a person who is so unlike others, so foreign to the norm. It’s almost impossible to find a person that can say she is lovable. But Will steps up and does that. And he seems honest. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but can we do the same? Speak love and beauty into the lives of others?
In this movie, we see a guy who is all wrapped up in himself and he looks down on others, so he is changed to be ugly in the eyes of the people who once loved him, and he has to find someone to love him as he is. Okay, yes, I just told you the plot of Beauty and the Beast. It’s a take off of that story. But relevant all the same. When we turn to the point of seeing all others as beasts compared to our own beauty, we turn into beasts ourselves.
So who do you look down on? Who do you “feel sorry for”? Who do you pity? Who do you ignore? Who do you hate? Who are you disgusted by? Who can you not stand? Who irritates you? Who is awkward beyond all belief? Who is ugly and gross and weird and just wrong?
They are the beautiful artwork of Creator God, Incarnate One, Redeemer and Lover of the soul.
So love them. Love him. Love her. Love them like you love yourself and maybe you will see the beauty of the “beast”.
I will try to do the same. I have no handle on this. I fail as well. But now that I am aware of it, I can try. Try. Yoda was wrong. There is try. But you try by doing. So do. Try. Love.