2014 Lenten Devotional – “40 Days Of Disney” – Day Five

Song #36 – “Belle” – Beauty and the Beast

“Beauty and the Beast” was the third film in Disney’s Renaissance of the early 90’s and the most successful upon its release.  With an award-winning soundtrack, it became the first animated feature to be nominated for “Best Picture.”  The opening song, “Belle,” introduced viewers to a musical experience perfect for its eventual transition to Broadway.  In a familiar formula to former and future Disney heroines, Belle laments that she wants more than her “ordinary life,” in her “poor provincial town.”  With a fascination for books and knowledge, Belle presents herself, instead, as the intellectual princess.

Of course, ladies of her time were not supposed to be intelligent, so most of the town looks at her as a “strange,” “peculiar,” “silly and funny girl.”  No character drives this point home better than the chauvinistic Gaston, who only considers her appearance, saying, “She’s the most beautiful girl in town.  That makes her the best, and don’t I deserve the best?”  The people of ancient Israel were no different.  When they wanted a king, they chose Saul, “a handsome young man [who] stood head and shoulders above everyone else,” (1 Samuel 9: 10 CEB).  Unfortunately, Saul failed, because God’s standards are different that the world’s.  God replaced Saul with a shepherd boy, saying, “Have no regard for his appearance or stature…God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the Lord sees into the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7 CEB).

Surprising God, you are constantly turning human systems upside down to demonstrate your kingdom’s different set of rules. Help us live by your standards, not the world’s, so that our hearts are aligned with your love, your mission, and your kingdom.  Amen.


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