Receiving beauty

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 presetI do not ever want to be indifferent to the joys and beauties of this life. For through these, as through pain, we are enabled to see purpose in randomness, pattern in chaos. We do not have to understand in order to believe that behind the mystery and the fascination there is love.
(Madeleine L’Engle)

The green of springtime seems weightless, airy, and new. Leaves suddenly appeared in Dallas, and they are almost translucent in the afternoon sun. Yesterday I just sat in front of my classroom window for a few minutes and watched the wind blowing past, shaking the new green and throwing clouds of pollen into the air.

Sometimes I fear that beauty will be lost on me. So I open the windows and desperately look for the lovely corners in our little 850 square-foot apartment.

But maybe it isn’t reliant only on me to find beauty and to see it and savor it and soak it in as much as I am able. Maybe some days beauty finds me and works on me and fills me. Grace is extended through beauty, given as a gift that is not dependent on the receiver’s gratitude or ability to enjoy it as fully as possible. Instead, beauty is given to an eye that is open and willing, that comes with palms outstretched and a heart yearning for that reassurance that there is, in fact, purpose in randomness, pattern in chaos.

It doesn’t often come in those soul-shaking, earth-moving experiences that bring us to tears. Beauty comes in the everyday whisperings and motions that make up most of our existence. It is given as a gift not in proportion to my seeking, but abundantly. We are immersed in it, bathed in it, until we can’t help but see it.

I saw it today in the freckles on a sun-bathed little nose, in the brilliant red of a passion fruit tea, in the lines of the sun through the shades, in the blue sky and the details of eighteen different handwritings.

And then beauty does its work and we see Love there. Love given through beauty because He, Himself, is beauty.

I am glad that I don’t always have to go find beauty. If it was up to my own human attempts and strivings, I would fall and fail again and again. But beauty comes to our physical existence and awakens us and reminds us that there is purpose and reason and “love that moves the sun and the other stars.” (Dante)

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