author ● sojourner ● mother artist

author ● sojourner ● mother artist

Conversations on Beauty, Life, & Jesus

{before we talk about beauty: I know some will say it’s idealist, ridiculous, superficial, or whatever else their jaded, bitter, or hurt hearts might say…because really, there isn’t an adverb or adjective I haven’t already used when thinking of life and beauty and joy and peace…it can all feel superficial at times…more because of where our hearts are than what is true}

Conversations on Beauty, Life, & Jesus @ The Reluctant Sojourner

Beauty isn’t perfect.

Beauty is wide and deep and free.

Beauty travels after the Creator. Beauty is dangerous. It asks much. It’s adventure. It’s taking a chance, saying yes. Beauty is laughing at yesterday’s foils and embracing today’s mercies. Beauty stands tall in truth and grace, washed in blood knowing freedom’s lingering taste.

Beauty laughs at the days to come and embraces the chance to start a new. Beauty is okay with being misunderstood. Beauty takes a breath and stops to soak in the sweet moments. Beauty lives, not clean and polished on a shelf for all to see, but wild and free running in the open air, come rain or shine.

Beauty understands life is to be embraced in all its messy and wondrous glories. Beauty sees the pain and sorrow and feels it all. Beauty is warm and inviting, ushering in friend and stranger alike.

But–you may say, beauty looks through rose-colored glasses.

So?

We call them kingdom lenses. The kingdom of God is dusted in that rosy hue.

Sure, beauty can be called idealistic. But what would you call a king who envisioned his scattered and captive people set free? And not by a mass of marching men, but by a single man dying a criminal’s death? And that same man coming back from the dead—too idealistic for you?

I think the problem many have with this rose-colored, “idealized” beauty is that it’s happy. It smiles. It is hopeful. Beauty hopes.

And for many that’s offensive. They feel jilted, stilted, disappointed, and left at the altar. They don’t see beauty in rays of light through a window pane or the colors laid across a cutting board. {truly beauty is more than that} They don’t see life as moving. They see life as an event, something to do, to get dressed for…not something to live. The mundane becomes offensive, horrible, a trap, a jail. Life becomes idealized as BIG and EXPLOSIVE. It has to change the world or at least be seen as tantalizingly alluring.

We forget that beauty is more often quiet than loud. We see the disconnect between the promises of the gospel and the frustrations of our lives and the mess in our hearts. It’s there unbelief crowds our hearts. Beauty becomes something we disdain and ignore for the practicalities of life.

But beauty is rejoicing in the simple graces and coming to terms with redemption’s long road. Beauty is dancing barefoot in the kitchen because the right words fall from the sky like manna from heaven. Beauty is the long faithful in the same direction. It’s the hand that cups your face when you’re feel low and haggard and a mess. It’s the eyes that smile at your crazy and the adventure that exploded in your living room.

Beauty is joy and joy is beauty and all true joy and beauty are forged from the same fount and His name is Christ and Christ alone.

{amen}

Let’s appropriate the gospel. And by appropriate I don’t mean early morning quiet times.

I mean, let us take the gospel and LET EVERY BREATH PRAISE THE LORD!

This is it, right here, folks. Our understanding of beauty and life comes to a head at Christ and how we understand Jesus will direct how beauty shapes us…how we live.

The gospel is beautiful. But it’s not just Easter morning beauty with its flat-ironed pleats, rainbow pastels, pleasant smiles and “How do you do?”

It is a glorious, unhindered laugh out loud joy, undignified dancing kind of beautiful. It is a joy that cannot be contained, truth that cannot be quenched, and it is gritty. 

The gospel is the story of our failures in the face of perfection, the turning of our backs on the quiet plea “Stay with me a little while longer,” it is our disappointments calling out “Liar!” and our hope being painfully realigned to a salvation we did not quite understand.

In the dismantling of our presumptions we find the messy glory of a God rising from a tomb and all we now know is our Hope became flesh and dwells among us, our sins forgiven, and He leads the way into peace and joy.

And that, ya’ll, is beautiful.

So let’s start this: Conversations on Beauty, Life, & Jesus. 

What does that mean to you? What swirls around your head when you think of your day to day, Jesus, and beauty? 

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2 thoughts on “Conversations on Beauty, Life, & Jesus”

  • Found this article when I typed “where is the beauty in life?” into Google because I am desperately seeking God and His beauty right now. I am in the middle of a stressful time and miss Him because the circumstances are blinding me to His presence. Miss dancing and singing and music and sunshine and laughter. Having a hard time finding Him in the midst of the stress I feel. Lots of tears and anger. Thank you for reminding me to look, and listen and notice….”They don’t see beauty in rays of light through a window pane or the colors laid across a cutting board. {truly beauty is more than that}”

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