“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Yesterday, I fell in love with film and literature all over again when I watched the new “The Great Gatsby.” In high school, I read the novel and watched the old movie with Robert Redford, but wasn’t yet at a place in life where I could truly appreciate or comprehend it.
After four and a half years of living in Los Angeles, I have seen so much beauty turned to stone. So much light turned to darkness. So much faith turned to cynicism. So much hope turned to devastation.
In the film, Nick Carraway often speaks of the hopefulness that Gatsby obtains. He held onto his hope for love, even in his last moments as he waited for Daisy to call him.
Gatsby threw all those lavish parties, had that enormous estate, and subdued such an extravagant lifestyle simply because he wanted to capture the admiration and affection of Daisy, the woman he so dearly loved.
The problem is, beauty fades. All shiny new things someday become old. The lavish turns to dust. When our eyes only seek the flashy, exciting novelties, we will never find true joy. One of the songs in the film’s beautiful sound track was “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey. The lyrics say:
I’ve seen the world
Done it all
Had my cake now
And Bel Air now
Hot summer nights, mid July
When you and I were forever wild
The crazy days, city lights
The way you’d play with me like a child
Will you still love me
When I’m no longer young and beautiful?
Will you still love me
When I got nothing but my aching soul?
I know you will, I know you will
I know that you will
Will you still love me when I’m no longer beautiful?
In the film, Daisy is so confused, insecure, and caught between desires that she says:
“That’s the best thing a girl can hope to be in this world…a beautiful little fool.”
She says this because her soul is aching, her heart is saddened, and she feels that now she knows too much to be happy. When you’ve seen it all and experienced it all, what happens when you’ve got nothing bigger to live for?
There is a desire and longing in all of us to love and be loved. This desire is God given and wonderful. However, this desire can’t be fueled by seeking and attracting love by only our money, bodies, sexuality, or exciting parties. Why? Those things fade.
Beauty is fleeting. Charm is deceptive. Our fear, respect, love, and dedication to God is what can train these desires to manifest in a healthy way. When I was so wrapped up in my body, consumed in myself, and insecure, I never allowed anyone to love me. Now, filled with God’s truth and love, I am happily engaged to a man I will grow old with. I’m so looking forward to growing old with him. Because our love for each other and for God is so much deeper and stronger than any makeover, bank account, or mansion.
This Twos-Day (two are better than one), remember to seek and attract beauty that is true and eternal…the beauty that is truly Christ-like. Don’t be just a beautiful little fool.