This is one of my favorite stories, with Beauty breaking the bonds of Ugly.

Where does our sense of Beauty and Uglyness come from? We’re attracted to gardens over garbage, harmony over dissonance, fair skin over warts. Most of us are drawn to handsome faces of either sex, and we have to work hard to care about the unlovely. I suspect that many broken marriages result from skin-deep attachments, the real persons hidden behind an overlay of beauty.

I have this theory that beauty is a hindrance to personal development. If you don’t have to work hard for acceptance, you’re left with relationships that last only as long as your face remains attractive. When I started high school, I sized up the assorted relational groupings. I knew I’d never be part of the “IN” crowd but was intelligent enough to be a cut above the social dregs. I did have friends. In band, I sat next to John Snyder who played a good baritone horn but smelled of cow dung. (In those days, Sussex County had more cows than people.) Nobly, I befriended a new student who was Black and isolated, but her extreme BO soon became hard to deal with. To my shame, I abandoned her, when I could have suggested how she might keep herself clean. I did make other friends, even among the IN folk, but had to learn relational skills—from scratch—and am the better person for it.

Beauty takes many forms, and caring for people who are “ugly” in their brokenness brings both relational beauty and a touch of joy to both sides. Love, hugs, a listening ear—these are strong, powerful medications for those who suffer ugliness.

The Beast was cured by a kiss. Beauty, however, needed a lot of inner developing before she was able to give that kiss.

How many “Beasts” can you kiss, this week?

Please comment below or via I love hearing your stories!