I have to live with beauty. It is a need in me so deep.
My friend Lin told me yesterday about an illustration a sister used in a Bible study they were having — that reading and applying Bible verses can be like playing notes of music: it will be wooden unless you do it from your heart.
Life to me is wooden if I just play the notes, go through the motions. I need to feel the beauty in every moment. I need to reflect the beauty in every action I take.
And so I take a moment here to acknowledge the beauty that is swirling around me, the news of a baptism over the weekend, the time with Alicia talking about our lives and looking at her garden, the encouraging phone conversations I had, the way others demonstrated true caring, my husband taking the time after a long day to reach out to someone, the people who are living out their faith, the great conversation I had with the woman at Good Will.
It is like the video I watched this morning of a sort of flash mob playing Beethoven on the street. The crowd didn’t expect anything, they could have walked on by, but suddenly there was something divine that changed their whole mood. There is unexpected beauty that surprises us as well, if we will look for it and appreciate it.
Beauty is the grace I have received — “as grace extends to more and more people it may cause the giving of thanks to abound, to the glory of God.” II Cor 4:15 The grace of the cross is a wonderful healing thing. When I took communion this past Sunday I was moved to tears once more as I thought of how I am important enough that Jesus suffered unspeakably just for me. Sometimes lately I have felt unimportant, ineffectual, as if others are moving forward radiantly and I am shuffling dully along, behind on my to do list. But Jesus chose and saved me.
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Gal 6:14
Beauty is trusting in God. “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” Ps 62:5
We DO need to wait quietly for God. We need to stand in awe, anticipating the mighty way He will work. I love the passage Alicia sent me this morning from “The Kingdom of God” by Tom Jones and Steve Brown. “We need to stand in awe of a plan that has been unfolding for centuries and that we know prophets longed to see. We need to be in awe of a reign that can touch the hearts of men and women from every culture and nations and bring them together at one table and into one family We need to stand in awe of the wisdom of God that accomplishes this in ways man would never imagine.”
Alicia sent this because both of us would like to be more effective for God. It is good to realize that we will see God will expand His kingdom in a mighty way. I would like to be a part of this, and I am. Just as practice helps me learn to write better, and study the Bible with others better, it will help me learn to reach out better — IF I keep on trying to grow in it.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps 46:10
Yesterday I read the first four chapters of II Corinthians. It was awesome. There are so many amazing verses there that give me strength.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer selfc is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
My outward self sometimes feels tired and weak. But God plays an orchestra to my inner self, and I am renewed with beauty upon beauty. “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16 May I live that way as well, grace upon grace, one beautiful act after another.