She woke with lingering impressions of curses, evil intentions, a small-but-powerful puncture, and a deathly silence that seemed to last forever. What a nightmare!
Opening her eyes for what seemed to have been the first time in a hundred years, her blurred vision swiftly focussed on a handsome face too close to hers to be honorable.
His welcoming smile revealed charming dimples and gleaming teeth which could star in a toothpaste commercial. “You’re awake.”
The suddenness with which she attempted to draw back from this man who, despite his attractiveness, was a stranger, caused her head to spin, and she fell back on the satin pillow with an undignified plop.
“Take your time, my dear.” His voice was gentle and smooth, more reassuring than condescending. “You’ve been asleep for a very long time.”
Aurora couldn’t recall ever sleeping more than ten hours in one night, but she had to admit she felt more groggy than usual. Admit to herself, at least. She still didn’t trust this man who continued to invade her personal space.
He extended his hand. “Let me help you sit up.”
Not wanting to appear rude, she grasped his warm fingers and allowed him to do just that. Once she was upright, she pulled her arm back immediately, tucking her hand under the blanket at her waist.
Her face burned as she looked away from him and tuned into her surroundings. She was relieved to see her mother hurrying to her bedside.
“You’re finally awake! We’re all awake!” she cried as she delivered an aggressive hug that was very uncharacteristic of her mother’s usual queenly poise.
Before the older lady stood upright, Aurora hissed in her ear, “Who is that?”
“Why that’s Prince Phillip, dear. Don’t you remember him? He’s to be your husband. And now he’s your saviour. He broke the curse with his kiss of true love!”
The cloud of sleep was heavy, but the more she peeked his way, the more familiar he seemed. True love? Kiss? It was a lot to absorb before her morning coffee.
Within days, Aurora’s memory was restored, and she was caught up in the preparations for her wedding. Prince Phillip truly was charming and attentive, and he did seem to love her as her mother claimed.
On the eve of her wedding, Aurora went for a walk in the village. She needed to get away from the chaos of the castle preparations, even if only for a few minutes.
On Main Street, she was drawn into a dressmaker’s shop by the gorgeous ball gown displayed in the front window. It was the perfect shade of pink, and it sparkled in the sun, which was now low in the sky.
The dressmaker was delighted to entertain her, the prestige of having a princess in the store assuredly good for her business. She showed Aurora all the bolts of fabric that would match her coloring, offering to make other dresses just as fabulous as the one in the window. She even brought her into the back room and showed her the equipment she used: a sewing machine, a heat press, and a spinning wheel.
Aurora’s heart quickened at the sight of the wheel. This was the very instrument that had activated the curse and put her to sleep for a hundred years. Despite the feeling of danger, she was mysteriously drawn to it. She didn’t even realize she had reached her hand out toward it until she felt the familiar prick on her finger.
She grabbed at the dressmaker’s sleeve as she lost the strength to stand, and drifted into a sea of blackness.
An overwhelming sense of déjà vu plagued her as she opened her eyes to Prince Phillip’s lips pulling back slowly from hers. This time, however, his dimples were not decorating his face, but a frown creased his forehead.
“Aurora! What were you thinking?”
She didn’t like his tone, and showed her distaste with a pout. “It’s really not a big deal, Phillip. True love’s kiss has fixed everything again. The curse is broken.”
Her prince dragged his fingers through his gorgeous mane and sighed. At least he had the grace to withhold his words.
It was her mother who swooped in cawing like a raven, reminding her of all the time and money that had been spent getting ready for her wedding, which was that very afternoon.
She didn’t know what all the fuss was about. She had only slept a few hours this time, not a hundred more years.
“Please, Mother, can we not ruin my special day with negative talk?”
And it was never spoken of again. Princess Aurora married Prince Phillip, and they began their lives together.
Two years later, she had her first child; a daughter. Aurora refused to throw a party, knowing how her own birth celebration had ended.
Her daughter grew quickly, outgrowing each new dress in what seemed like days, so Aurora decided to bring a seamstress to live at the castle full time.
The woman set up in a small room on the upper floor. Aurora spent a lot of time there, picking out fabrics and patterns for her daughter’s wardrobe.
Two days before Phillip’s coronation, Aurora visited the seamstress to check on the progress of the matching dresses she had ordered. The seamstress was distracted as she presented the dresses, in various stages of completion.
The princess, believing her to be stressed about the deadline, touched her arm. “Don’t worry, it looks like you will have them both done in plenty of time.”
The seamstress confessed that she was bubbling with excitement over a new spinning wheel that she’d just had delivered. She insisted on showing it to Aurora, despite some mild reservation on Aurora’s part.
As the princess’s eyes closed, seconds after the sting of the needle, she saw the seamstress collapse on the floor in slumber as well.
This time when she opened her eyes, her husband’s face wore neither smile or frown. His eyes reflected sadness.
Pain gripped Aurora’s stomach. It was her foolhardiness that caused his unhappiness.
Her eyes were drawn to his head by a sun sparkle bouncing off a large jewel-encrusted crown. Her prince was now king!
Her eyes filled with tears and she nearly choked on disappointment.
“I missed it,” she whispered. “I missed your coronation.”
Phillip nodded. “People travelled for days to be here for this, Aurora. The castle staff have been preparing for weeks. I sent most of the guard out to search for you, but we couldn’t delay the ceremony.”
“I’m sorry.” The words weren’t big enough to convey her regret.
She looked into his watery eyes. “You still loved me enough for your kiss to break the spell.”
He touched her cheek. “I’ll always love you, Aurora. But your actions are not those of a queen. You are a representation of our family; of my reign. Our subjects will believe you to be foolish.”
Aurora swallowed the lump in her throat, her cheeks burning with shame. “I have been a fool, Phillip. I’ve let my own selfishness hurt you and your name.”
She bowed her head. “Forgive me, Your Grace. It was never my intention to cause you pain or embarrassment. I love you and I promise to behave more like a King’s wife from now on.”
Her husband wrapped his arms around her. “There’s my queen,” he said. “Let’s go join the celebration. The cook has prepared all your favourites.”
Admittedly, this is not the ending you may have heard or read about Sleeping Beauty. Yet, it’s often OUR story.
Many of us gave our hearts to Jesus when we were very young and grew up in the church, God’s earthly castle. We take his mercy for granted, foolishly testing his patience as we continue following our own selfish desires and falling into the same sins again and again. We know He loves us and will forgive us. We received the Get-out-of-Hell-free ticket when we joined His family so many years ago.
We have a false sense of security, Daughters of God.
We are asleep. In our spiritual slumber, we might read our Bibles, but our minds wander as we read; the tasks waiting for us distract our study. We learn nothing and walk away unchanged.
We often forget to acknowledge Him all day and then fall asleep on our prayers at night.
We make decisions without asking for His guidance and we make choices that are selfish and foolish.
We are no different than this reckless princess. We are daughters of the King of the Universe. We soil His great name with our actions. People look at us, knowing we claim to be His child, but they don’t see royalty. We are common and undeserving of our crown.
It’s true that Jesus offers salvation; true love’s kiss. He’s broken the spell of the evil one’s curse. But we need to stop chasing spinning wheels and expecting Him to rescue us when we reap the consequences of our sin.
In Mark 13:36, Jesus warns us that we walk a dangerous path:
“Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning.”
He is coming back some day to collect His sons and daughters; those who believe in Him. If we are sleeping, we will miss the coronation. The big event will not wait for us.
It is time to wake up and shine.
I want to glorify my Father’s name. Don’t you?
That means avoiding the places where I might find spinning wheels.
It means not just reading His Word like a fairy tale, but studying it to learn more about my Father and how He would like for me to live.
It means talking to Him as Someone I love and respect. I will ask for His advice before making decisions. I will invite Him to go with me everywhere I go.
I will hold His hand and never let go.
Say this prayer with me, Daughters of God: