Trading a rose for a smile

It is amazing what I learned last night at a children’s play.

A revised presentation of the the classic Snow White tale was the setting. The blooming adolescents and children of Crossway church were the players.

In the story, an obsessively vain queen is hung up with jealousy as she compares her beauty to that of another woman. The young Snow White, object of the evil queen’s discontent, becomes a target of the wicked queen’s deadly schemes.

While the queen strives to reign over her subjects with harsh oppression, her unwittingly innocent nemesis finds abundant favor among the people, without even trying. Snow’s goodness outshines the queen’s ill-intent all over the place, especially in the village.

You understand the “village” in literary speak, don’t you? In this morality play, the village is like, the world in general, like, you know, the one we live in. And in this world we’ve got evil queens; we’ve got nefarious kings. And we’ve got Snow White types of good people. And then we’ve got, like, everything in between those two extremes, in adolescent-speak.

In this world we’ve got Hitlers and Bashar al-Assads; but we’ve also got George Washingtons and Vaclav Havels.

Well I’m here to tell you that the good gals and guys win in the end; that’s what this Christian thing is all about. Read the book and find out about it.

Anyway, here I am telling you what I really learned in this drama presented by a bunch of kids, with a little help from their parents of course.

The lesson took me by surprise. Snow White had just met a young prince–“the” young prince in the story. They were in the, as it were, marketplace, in the village–the main street, high street, the mall, whatever.  The young man is enamored of her beauty, of course–that’s a classic component of the story–the girl’s beauty; but even more importantly, especially in the context of this Christianized revision of the tale, Snow’s goodness, her godly character, is the shining attribute of her persona.

What the young prince does at that moment is the lesson. He trades a rose for a smile.

He hands a rose to Snow White; then she smiles. And that smile, on her loving, womanly face, becomes his inspiration and motivation from that moment onward.

And I realized, as I sat in the audience and watched the prince “trade a rose for a smile,” that I have spent the last 32 years of my life trading the the thorny, withering blooms of this life for my wife’s smile.

I have spent most of my adult life, and thankfully more than half of my entire life, loving one woman, and gathering joy abundantly just by making her happy. Just by seeing her smile. Her joy is what makes my life complete, and her well-being is what makes my life work. Furthermore, she feels the same about me. She is all about love. That’s what I detected in her smile. I caught a glimpse of that love that nurtures and prospers all that she sets her hands to, that love that birthed and raised our three children, that love that promotes excellence in her nursing professionalism, that love that fills every nook and cranny of our life together.

True love is the most powerful connection in this life.  Like the young prince in the story, I traded a rose for her smile over three decades ago; life has been so much better than it otherwise would have been because we made that commitment.

She gave me beauty for the ashes of my own self-effort; she gave me oil of joy for the mourning of this world’s reprobate condition; and she gave me a garment of praise that outshines the darkness of my self-importance.

Thank God.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: