Tuesday, December 16, 2008


With the closing of yet another year, I am reaching into my bag of memories - that collection of experiences God gave to me and began or continued working in me over this fleeting time period.

Today I was reading through my journal, (not my diary, mind you) reflecting on what ran through my brain at the time of my entries, and I decided to post a few of them this holiday season for whoever to gain whatever out of them.

The one I'm posting today is called Beauty and I'm sharing this one today because of how it spoke to me; dipping deep into my heart and touching something tender.

My dear Journal,

March 29, 2008

I have always been an admirer and student of beauty. Beauty captures, enlightens, fulfills and delights me. I find beauty everywhere; easy beauty, that is.

I find it in things as lavish as the ripe colors of a winter sunset and the deepness of a medieval painting portraying a tall knight in silver, glowing armour kneeling before a fair lady with golden hair, clad in the purest white.

I find this beauty in the simplest of things like painted daisies on my sister's toenails, wildflowers in an open field, or the bright, pure, smile of a child.

I find beauty in things as rare as a colorful, strutting peacock, who seems to look down, instead of up, at the entire universe. I find it in the incredible architecture built around the world and in the unusual opportunity of watching two people unconsciously fall in love.

And of course, I delight in the beauty of the common; those things that are all around us, every day, there to reach out and receive joy from. The eyes of a striking gentleman, an uncommonly pretty girl, beautiful gowns that ravish the heart, bouquets of roses, timeless musical pieces, the elegance of a quite, country dance, a field of tall, enveloping grass swaying to the tune of the wind, the smile shared between a husband and a wife, silver-haired, but still madly in love - these things that aren't so uncommon, after all.

But in my attempt to culture this taste for beauty, I fear I have become only more inclined towards easy beauty; the kind of beauty that is evident to everyone, the kind that is striking, no doubt. But is it satisfying? Do we ever get enough of this kind?

I am quick to spot the pretty girl over the plain; the graceful man over the clumsy. My taste for elegance (and my intense desire to see such surrounding me everywhere and always) often overcomes the good sense which I know should determine how I see the world. This "taste" is not really taste at all. It isn't talent. It's not being well-bred. It's being what everyone else can be - human.

Something is telling me that my eye for easy, obvious beauty fades away the many opportunities I have of seeing beauty in the most unobserved places - the rarest of kinds, only found after a strong desire and a deliberate quest for it. So my easy beauty had better be called, "lazy beauty".

Like beauty, everyone sees and observes rainstorms, but it takes true taste, true talent, true heart, true compassion to notice the raindrops. And it requires so much more in this extraordinary person to study, bring out, and highlight the tiny drops of water, of which all rainstorms are made. Perhaps, just maybe, these tiny drops of water can teach us far more than the most spectacular rainstorms.

Maybe they will remind us that, after all, some of life's greatest gifts are wrapped in the smallest, most obscure packages. And perhaps we'll begin to understand the many dimensions of beauty; discovering that the deepest ones are the hardest and most unusual to find.

And maybe we'll remember that we're not the Creator, that we do not think like Him, and that we should not be taking lessons from our own books of human wisdom to define what is truly beautiful.

Let me see and study the splendor of beauty forever, praising the great Creator of it, lest I grow dull and lifeless, without a heart of joy; without a heart of gratefulness. May I never grow unperceptive to any kind of beauty, because yes, it is everywhere.

Once I am blind to it, I am blind to all. ~