Beauty and the Beast Are Engaged!

By Curtis K. Shelburne

Well, now it’s official. The Hulk is engaged!

Our second son, Jeffrey, the one who when he was a little guy we we always thought would stay a little guy — it turns out we didn’t have any little guys — the one who somewhere in his growing up years mutated and grew way up, is now officially engaged.

As his dad, I still recognize the very same mischievous twinkle in his eye that was there in the eye of that really little guy years ago. So I’m pretty sure he is indeed the same guy, just a lot bigger.

Last Sunday afternoon, the Beast surprised the Beauty by saying, “Hey, let’s take a drive out to Paul’s Lake at the Wildlife Refuge and take a look across the lake from the scenic overlook.” The Beauty wasn’t exactly sure what was going on. Yes, the Beast would gladly spend most of his time outdoors and would love to have been born into a ranching family, complete with the land and cattle and horses that generally go with being a ranching family so he wouldn’t have to waste a lot of time working indoors, but still the Beauty thought this sudden interest in the scenic overlook at the Wildlife Refuge was a bit unusual. It seemed, though, to have maybe just a flicker of the romantic about it. Since she knew better than to snuff out any glimmer of romanticism the Beast might quite rarely show, she said, “Okay.” So they headed east down the road to the lake.

When they got there and began to walk toward the ramp leading up to the overlook, she thought for a moment that she heard music. Well, yes, she did hear music. It sounded for all the world like, well, like Nat King Cole, and, yes, it was! And there on the deck were two chairs and a table decked out with flowers, chocolate-dipped strawberries, silver goblets, and chilling champagne. Talk about a full-service Wildlife Refuge!

And the Beast said, “Wow! This would almost be romantic enough for a guy to ask a girl to marry him!” And her heart began to sink a bit, and then she saw the envelope on the table that said, “Amy Paige Hall” — just, I suppose, to clear up any confusion should an Amy Paige Smith show up at the table unexpectedly.

I don’t know what the note said, but I know what the Beast said after the Beauty read the note. He said, “Will you marry me?” And, though there is some confusion about this, we’re pretty sure that after the Beauty quit crying, she said, “Yes.”
And if you ask, “How does all of this fit into a newspaper column about faith?” well, you obviously haven’t been married! Yes, indeed, “God is love,” but not much takes more faith than marriage. Still, this sounds like a good start.

Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at