One thing that I love to do when I see something beautiful is just let my soul just ache with the goodness of it. Just feel it, immerse myself in it, and let an inner sigh settle over my whole self.
I think this inner sigh happens because in our depths, we are made to experience beauty and to live in it, to flourish there.
Have you ever noticed? We flock to about any park we can find, we are captured by music, we are drawn to mountains.... We aren't just fulfilled by beauty, we desire it.
You'll find people coming to out-of-the-way places, seeking to experience beauty. We don't come because we can buy something, although we are treasure-hunting. We are seeking something, seeking beauty, seeking fulfillment to our souls. We desire to dwell in beauty and to wrap ourselves up in it, experientially, to know that we are connected to it. To know that we, too, are beautiful. Glorious.
Our desire to experience beauty is totally evident. You can hear it in the disappointed tone in a voice of a recent traveler. "I'm telling you, it was absolutely gorgeous, this photo doesn't do it justice." Or a concert-goer: "You think they sound good on the album? Man, you should hear them live!" Or a lover: "She's the most amazing person I have ever met, I can't wait to introduce you to her!"
People place parks (try saying that three times fast) and little green spaces in the midst of wealth and affluence. High dollar land is space for rest. For beauty. There's so much value and beauty that a group of 10,000 people in a city district will choose to have space for a park rather than another business or school. There is something in our souls that aches for the experience of beauty in all forms. We need to experience and connect with the beauty of nature, of excellent music, of graceful movement, of exquisite food, and of our friends and family, and live in that eternity-moment.
and just be.
Jesus didn't have to create this concept we call "beauty" and He didn't have to create us to enjoy beauty, to long for it. But He did.
Sometimes I hear people who love God and to share his message also "share" that it's not good and holy to enjoy beauty. But that's another post for another day.
Of course, I do not mean that it is fine to be a self-centered pleasure seeker who makes it her only mission to have a good time. No, that is extreme shallowness and leads to an empty, unfulfilled life.
To enjoy is much different than to lust after, it's much different than obsession, because as we immerse ourselves in goodness, that gives glory to the Maker, the One who thought it all up and made it happen. Plus, when it's a shared experience, we multiply the joy.
Today, here's my message: embrace beauty, especially when your soul feels tired or thirsty, just step back and know that the Lord has created you to experience beauty. It comes from Him, beauty was his idea. In fact, it tells us something of who He is. It's in those places we find soul-filling. In rest we can find the Father and see His creative heart, but more than that, see His glorious Self, lavishing in His love for us.
Share in the joy of the achingly beautiful life that surrounds us. Give yourself to the shared experience of joyous beauty, and there you will meet face-to-face with the ever-deeper, glorious Creator and Father of us all.