The Beast and Beauty Inside

Written by Pat Sullivan

inner beauty and authenticityThe real you is far more beautiful than anything you can create or cover up.

If you've ever felt rejected because of your appearance, David Roche of Mill Valley, Calif., understands. Born with a facial deformity that was made worse by medical intervention, David was told he was too ugly to become a priest.

Today, wearing a purple silk shirt that elegantly matches the swollen veins on his left cheek and neck, he ministers with hope and laughter through his one-man show, "Church of 80 Percent Sincerity."


Wisdom Advice

Inner beauty stirs admiration, pleasure and approval in our hearts and souls.
The path to finding inner beauty begins when we drop our guard and become present to whatever is real in ourselves and others.
Presence is redemptive because it invites those parts of us that feel unacceptable to come out of hiding, to be loved and healed.
Because the soul doesn't have a date book, old pains and joys are still current. When we live in soul time, old hurts can heal now. Old insights and joys can refresh and sustain us now.
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"We with facial deformities," he says, "understand that you turn away not from our faces but from your own fears. From those things inside you that you think mark you as someone unlovable to your family, and society and even to God."
David has discovered that his face is really an elaborately disguised gift from God.
"After people get used to me, they see that I am beautiful, but all I do is tell my story," he says. "This gives them permission to remember ways they may feel disfigured, then look at themselves with love."
David tells of the time when the prettiest girl in the class spun the bottle and it pointed to him. She shuddered.
Who hasn't faced such terrible moments? Who doesn't fear more terrible moments as we grow older in a society that rarely acknowledges the beauty of elderhood?
When David says to the girl, "You know you want me," we cheer both for him and for the hope he stirs in ourselves. Actually, he admits, he never had such nerve then, but he does now. In soul time, it's never too late to heal an old hurt.
David is exploring the connection between simple presence and redemption.
"Presence really takes the burden off being a messiah or something like that, because all you have to do, all you can do, is be present and as honest as you can be," he says. "That's what works. It's a lot easier with kids, as you know."
We may never stir audiences of all ages to the depth of tears and laughter that David does. But by following his model of being courageously present, we can become just as beautiful.




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