Seeing Through to the Heart
One of the first cartoon feature-length movies that I can remember seeing is Disney’s classic cartoon, Snow White. As much as I loved the movie, the Evil Queen always frightened me. The crafty queen was able to create two illusions, so convincingly clever, that Snow White was deceived, and her life placed in great jeopardy.
Adjectives to describe Snow White might be beautiful, cheery, and kind, but also gullible. Yes, sweet Snow White was easily deceived by outward appearances. Despite Grumpy’s warning to let “nothin’ or nobody in the house,” Snow White looks at an old peddler woman, judges her harmless, and lets her in the little cottage.
And I am sure you know that the story doesn’t end there. The peddler woman, who is the Evil Queen in disguise, hands Snow White what looks like a perfect, desirable, red apple. Again, deceived by its outward, healthy appearance, Snow White takes a bite and immediately falls into “Sleeping Death.”
Though what we would deem it a fictitious, fairy tale, there is perhaps a truth there to which we might all relate.
We often get caught up in outward appearances.
Maybe you can relate to wanting your body, your family, your career, or your home to appear perfect and desirable, so you create all sorts of illusions to make it seem so.
You may diet or work out to excess, but all the while you hate the way you feel inside.
You may spend a great deal of money on cosmetic procedures and products to achieve a younger look but are never satisfied with the results.
You may clean your house but have that one closet that you pray no one dare opens.
You smile pleasantly at others while at church, but as soon as you get in the car to go home, your demeanor changes.
You strive to serve and volunteer and look like you have your life in Christ is all together, but inside you’re dealing with a secret sin you just don’t want anyone to know about.
But on the outside, you look like you’ve got it together, so it can’t be that bad, right?
Just like Snow White, we are eventually deluded by our own illusion! We get so caught up in our outward appearance, that we fail to see what has invaded our hearts inwardly. Just like the Pharisees, we try to cloak those “ugly,” broken parts of our lives, and we fall into our own version of Sleeping Death.
Now, luckily for Snow White, Sleeping Death had a remedy. True Love’s Kiss. And while True Love’s Kiss is exactly the stuff of a good fairy tale, we also have a remedy for our Sleeping Death in the form of true love, too. The unmatchable, unfathomable love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Who needs a prince when you have Jesus?
And the thing is, while we may be disgusted by our brokenness, that is not the case with Jesus. He is not revolted by our brokenness but drawn to it. Though we look on outward appearances, He looks within. He can see through the illusion and straight into our very hearts and loves us no matter how diseased that heart is because in and through Him, our hearts can be set right!
To everyone willing to stop the illusion and come to Him, Jesus receives them with arms wide open. A leper, a tainted woman with a bleeding issue, a crooked tax collector, a gentile woman with a demonic daughter, a prostitute, sinners. And even you. All you need to do is to come to Him. Just come.
“Man looks on the outward appearance,
but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7