What is the most beautiful place you have seen? What music is the loveliest you have heard? When you are awed by beauty, do you think of God and enjoy it with Him? Are you moved to share it, and Him, with others?
As an athlete, beauty is teammates working in unison to achieve a goal, like winning a title.
For a writer, it is a well written story with a moving metaphor and/or illusttration.
For the mechanic, it is a well tuned car able to perform to its maximum design.
For the engineer, it’s a carefully built structure that maintains its soundness.
For the artist, it’s capturing the image in paint, fabric, or pencil.
For the accountant, it’s a budget that balances.
For the musician, it’s playing the notes in sequence, with feel and precision.
It is amazing to consider the varied kinds of beauty in the world around us. While we do not need to argue and attempt to agree on a single definition of beauty, we can appreciate it when we come across it. For followers of the One True God, we understand that beauty ultimately arises from its source – the character of God. His holiness and goodness are integral to who He is.
I appreciate the reality that God reveals Himself in so many beautiful ways. The universe, the planet, the various eco-systems, the animal and insect worlds, even the human body reflects the creative genius of our designer and creative God. I have stood before a mountain peak, been in a boat in raging ocean, felt the calm in a quiet and secluded forest of solitude, and enjoyed the thundererous ovation at a pro sporting event. In all of those environments, I believe I was able to perceive and acknowledge God.
Read Psalm 29.
The writer of this psalm, David, urges his readers to recognize the Lord in heaven as our true (and only) object of worship. He writes that not only in the soft and quiet moments, but even in the loudness and ferocity of a storm, is God to be recognized and revered. Ultimately, He is the Lord of heaven and earth, the eternal King in judgment.
I believe beauty is given to us to appreciate the handiwork of the Father and it should lead us to worship and adore Him. The purity of watching a red robin sit in a tree near my home and sing out shatters the noise of a broken world that distorts God’s beauty.
I find that beauty forces me to look outside of myself and revel in the incredible variety around me, much of which I miss without consistent effort. Beauty awakens me to people and images and sounds and smells and sights I have a tendencty to ignore. Noticing that red robin the other day re-oriented me to “see anew” and is something I need again and again. I hear it in music, see it in a well-worded blog post, a clever, funny commercial, or a colorful billboard. It is so easy to miss out on the symmetry, clarity, and balance God has wired into the world around us.
One old writer wrote that some may feel nearer to God in a sun-swept garden, but Scripture affirms that even in the valley of the shadow of death (or even in a hurricane), He is near. Think theologically. How can you use beauty as evidence for the reality, presence, love, and justice of God? Nature reflects God’s beauty and glory. Notice it today and add your voice to the chorus.
Love is a verb,
©2016 by Mike Olejarz