In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Beauty Forgotten

I've been working through the study guide and book Captivating by Stasi Eldridge with some friends. As I was reading this week I was really struck by these words of Eldridge:

"Beauty is essential to God. No - that's not putting it strongly enough. Beauty is the essence of God.

The first way we know this is through nature, the world God has given us."

I'm reminded of Romans 1:20 (NIV):

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Makes sense to me that if creation shows God's qualities - that God must embody beauty.

There's also that verse in Isaiah 6:3 (NIV):

And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."

The earth, nature, is full of God's glory. It's apparent that one aspect of God's glory is beauty.

Sometimes I think we are so focused on doing, on things being functional, that we fail to notice beauty. But as I look in nature I see plenty of beautiful things; things that the beauty serves no other purpose than to delight the one seeing and experiencing it.

The power of beauty is so strong, that our culture has caught on to it's power and importance. But in our ignorance of beauty's source, we've missed beauty's substance and purity, and have idealized a corrupted form of beauty. We've limited beauty to a very specific, stringent, criteria that really has nothing to do with true beauty.

Beauty nourishes and enlarges the soul.

Just yesterday I was out hiking behind our house. When you go behind our house you start hiking upward and it opens up into the national forest, it seems that nobody but my family typically hikes there. Due to the light snow the prior night, everything was pristine and it was as if the dog and I were in our own wonderland. Periodically, I stopped hiking and would just gaze about me. I could look up at the mountain tops covered in tress and snow, with a fog beginning to waft about them, weaving in and out among the trees. I could look down into the desert below where the sun was shining and the clouds were dotted about beneath me. I could look at the pure, white, unblemished snow around me. I felt a sense of peace envelope me. I experienced a lightness, a freedom from the challenges in my life. It was as if my heart swelled within me. I was refreshed as I hiked back down to the house.

Beauty does that for me; and God is beauty.

Have you experienced beauty nourishing your soul? Have you had a time when out in nature, or when listening to a concert, or when in the company of someone beautiful, that God replenished you? Can you think of a time when God used beauty to increase you capacity to experience Him?


~*Michelle*~ said...

Oh Tracy! I loved this....I named my blog Psalm 104:24 because I am always in awe of each and every one of God's masterpieces and the beautiful world He chooses to give/share with us.

Great post!

RCUBEs said...

I was just sharing Romans 1:20 yesterday with my son as we were on our way to his school. The sun was so beautiful against some puffy, white clouds with rays bursting through those clouds...I felt like you took me with that hike...Kah...Kah...I'm out of breath but rejuvenated! God bless.

May said...

I love that picture. God's creation is all so beautiful. Thank you Lord for sharing this beauty of the world with us. Sometimes we look for beauty in the wrong places and all the time it is right in front of us. Oh it is another one of His great blessings to us to be able to share in his creation.

Deborah Ann said...

I'm right there with you. I think God is sad when people who don't know Him enjoy the beauty of nature without thanking the Maker. God has surely outdone Himself with this beautiful world!

GCT said...

"I think God is sad when people who don't know Him enjoy the beauty of nature without thanking the Maker."

Isn't that a flaw in perfection?

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