Remembering Original Glory

If I make the lashes dark
And the eyes more bright
And the lips more scarlet,
Or ask if all be right
From mirror after mirror,
No vanity's displayed:
I'm looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.
~From A Woman Young and Old by William Bulter Yeats~

When I was nine years old I dressed up as Cleopatra for Halloween. I felt beautiful, dazzling, magnificent. In reality I was a pudgy girl, often made fun of. But not this Halloween. No, I wasn't Alex anymore, I was the great Queen Cleopatra, cunning, strong, powerful, beautiful. I was free to dance and twirl around in my gold skirt and sparkling head dress.

I think we're all hiding behind something. We've been taught by life that being ourselves is dangerous, risky, wrong. We've been hurt, scarred, dissapointed, and wounded by life and so like a turtle retreating to it's shell, we've retreated behind our walls. But in the process we've lost something precious, and we know it. It's embedded into our souls; before original sin there was original glory.

John Eldredge has this to say: "I daresay we've heard a bit about original sin, but not nearly enough about original glory, which comes before sin and is deeper to our nature. Why does a woman long to be beautiful? Why does a man hope to be found brave? Because we remember, if only faintly, that we were once more than we are now."

Deep down, if we're honest this quote resonates with us. We long to be beautiful, strong, magnificent. But what if we already are these things and just don't know it? Could it be, that just as Sleeping Beauty slept unaware of who she truly is, we are deceived as well? Could it be that this verse "Ephesians 5:13..."Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you," is God's heart cry for us?

Shrek is one of my favorite movies, it's my go to when I need a reality check and for one simple reason. Princess Fiona is princess by day, ogre by night and she believes the former is her true self. What she doesn't know is that in the end, when all is said and done, it's the ogre part of her that's her true identity. Let's be honest here, more days than not, I feel like Fiona. I want to be more beautiful, more powerful, more successful. But what if we already are all those things? What if who we are is enough? How would our thinking change? How differently might we live our lives?

We were made magnificent and with full dominion over the earth and all that's in it. The truth is that Cinderella was still a princess even when she wore rags, Sleeping beauty was still a princess even when she slept, the frog prince was still a prince in slimy garb, and we're still magnificent even in a fallen world.

Miss Minchin: Don't tell me you still fancy yourself a princess? Child, look around you! Or better yet, look in the mirror.
Sara Crewe: I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young. They're still princesses. All of us. Didn't your father ever tell you that? Didn't he? **

**From A little Princess, the movie.


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