Dealings with beauty


“He begins to feel that the stars are strange, that the moon is sad, that the sunrise is mighty. He begins to see in them all the something men call beauty. He will lie on the sunny bank and gaze into the blue heaven till his soul seems to float abroad
and mingle with the infinite made visible, with the boundless condensed into colour and shape. The rush of the water through the still twilight, under the faint gleam of the exhausted west, makes in his ears a melody he is almost aware he cannot understand.”


“We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it.”



This is a post about the topic of beauty (especially in regards to grace) which I am writing by accident. I started out writing about dealing with defeat and it turned into revelings of beauty. (therefore I do not mean to communicate about beauty in an entirely abstract way). My hope is to talk about beauty as a means of grace, and as a means of experiencing healing from the pain of deserved retribution.

Something this week has taught me (my mother has taught me) is that failure does not simply go away. When you mess up badly, you really have quite a lot to go through afterwards. Life has a way of building in retribution, as painful as that is.

Another thing I am learning is the act of walking through defeat, (enduring its wound) and still that most pivotable act of picking yourself up, shaking off the dust and moving forward with your life.

I was wrestling through the tension of deserved consequences in a world that is also unjust and unpredictable when I began to see small bits of light splendidly seep through the whole situation.

I was sitting on the couch (after having gone outside and discovered it to be unbearably cold), holding my cup of coffee and (having abandoned all thought) observing the way the sky and tree branches looked through the windows. Without asking to be, (and without having done anything to create it) I found myself in an uncommon bath of morning light.

The light was, as it were, sunny and gorgeous. It was pouring in through the windows above my head and behind me, filling the room with clear colors. Filling the room with beauty that I could not have seen if I’d been sitting on that couch a few hours before.

I saw in this weird waking up experience the horribly enchanting nature of beauty. I somehow was able to dwell in something so dignifying and redeeming to the person who has done all the wrong things. You don’t simply make a good choice and then the morning light decides to come and kiss your shoulders and skin with its warmth, and reward your eyes with myriads of pure color.

Beauty (the realization of beauty) is a means of grace to the soul that has known the bitterness of sin. Beauty points to the hope of what is to come, a world without sin (and a world where all of the goodness we taste of has very little to do with our worthiness)


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