Beauty And Ugliness

Yesterday Gail mentioned: ‘If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.’ (Roald Dahl’s ‘The Twits’)

On Thursday we watched ‘Chicago’ – about pretty young girls in 1920s Chicago who committed murder:

‘The women’s attractiveness was relevant. In the patriarchal society of the day, and all-male jury would rarely countenance the conviction of a pretty woman. They were easily persuaded that her actions had some special explanation…’ (Programme notes)

‘Chicago’ is exceedingly humorous and entertaining… but it’s about beautiful women who were ugly inside…

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewellery or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty that comes from a gentle and quiet spirit…’ (1Peter 3:3-4)  

In Saturday’s thanksgiving service we  remembered Sarah’s consistent beauty – inside and out…. Sarah’s daughter Martha spoke with love and composure about her mother, telling this story. I paraphrase:

‘Mum wanted to visit Euro-Disney. Despite her illness, in a wheel-chair for much of the time, she was determined to have a good weekend. It was hot and Mum needed shade from the sun; an appropriate Disney-themed parasol was purchased.

As we were leaving Mum insisted that we gave away the parasol. ‘I won’t be needing it any more,’ she said. She made Dad find a little girl to give it to… Somewhere in Europe this random child has Mum’s parasol…’

Musing… Beauty and ugliness… Roald Dahl’s insights… Chicago’s contradictions… Peter’s advice… Sarah’s beauty, shining from the inside out.

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