Beauty is everywhere, but there are times we do not recognize it. That may be because we look for beauty in the wrong places and it may be because we do not recognize beauty when we see it.
There can be something truly beautiful about imperfection or brokenness. Somehow the marred clay jar has a splendor of its own. Beauty goes much deeper than the skin. Some of the most weathered faces are the most beautiful to me. Why? Because those faces etched with pain and suffering often reveal a person with a deep internal beauty and strength of character. The strong athlete with the perfectly formed body should not be compared to the beauty of an aged body that has given birth to children. That imperfect frame has produced life and nurtured human beings into their adulthood. The grey hair of a grandmother is somehow more glorious than the flowing hair of a young girl because it reveals her wisdom, her strength and her grace. So how do we identify what is truly beautiful?
Look for beauty in unexpected places: Unlike Richard Dawkins, who believes Down Syndrome babies should be aborted, I think there is something quite beautiful about Down Syndrome people. They are unique – they have a capacity to give and to love – and they are God’s creation. Take time to look for beauty in places you would never expect it.
Stop to appreciate the beauty: Don’t let the moment pass you by. True beauty is so wonderful it makes me cry. My son has scars from an accident he had many years ago. Those scars are beautiful to me! Beneath those ugly scars is a survivor, a person of strength, someone who determined to push through pain and come back at life. They are the scars of my son. Sometimes those scars make me cry.
Recognize beauty when you see it: Don’t look for beauty in the wrong places because it probably isn’t genuine beauty. Pure, unadulterated beauty is all around you, but you need to recognize it when you see it. I live in a little town in Ellendale, North Dakota. When I arrived I thought the scenery was quite bland and monotonous. There are miles of open expanse and some of the scenery is stark and barren. Over the past two years I have come to realize that the Prairies are absolutely magnificent. I look past the barrenness and I see a beauty that takes my breath away. I describe it as a ‘monastic’ kind of beauty. There is stillness, a depth and a sense of peace that often fills my eyes with tears.
Never take beauty for granted: We live in a day and age where human beings can be fickle. We look for an external beauty that only goes skin deep. Sometimes getting below the surface one discovers that what is beneath the veneer is not very pleasing at all. Don’t take the beautiful people in your lives for granted. Appreciate them with all their flaws and their brokenness. Sometimes there is a depth of beauty beneath that brokenness that is as pure as a crystal stream and it runs very deep. Stop to smell the roses and splash in the rain and the mud! Take time to smile at the person in their wheel chair and the old weathered face that has a very beautiful soul. Beauty is everywhere if you look for it.
God has made a beautiful world, but the most beautiful of all the things God ever made was you. He made you in His image and that means you are unique and beautiful. Appreciate all of God’s vast and amazing creation! Beauty is all around you even in the brokenness.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,