My mother told me many times that the first word I uttered was “pretty.” I guess I’ve always paid attention to what I thought was beautiful. But beauty goes beyond pretty. It’s more than a superficial quality. It involves all of the senses in experiences that transcend the superficial and lift us to awareness of great realities.
An artist views an apple. He looks at the shape and the color. He determines that it is worthy of his paintbrush and proceeds to put his appreciation on canvas. I see it and rejoice with him as he teaches me to notice each beautiful characteristic with awe.
A musician has an inspiration in her head and puts notes together in a beautiful melody. They may be just dots on a paper. The same symbols used by all musicians. But when they are interpreted by a singer, an instrumentalist, or a whole orchestra, we all can enjoy an experience that lifts us beyond this world. Through the gift of hearing, we are transported to a new depth of beauty.
In the springtime I may walk past a lilac bush, and through the sense of smell I am given a moment of exhilaration. Or who doesn’t enjoy the smell of bread baking in the oven? Do you brush it off with little appreciation? Or do you take a moment to be grateful for such a lovely aroma?
When a delicious meal is set before us, do we take time to savor each bite? I thank God for my taste buds, my ability to swallow and digest such delightful morsels. God could have made us with a feeding tube through which to insert nutritious mush.
Oh, and there’s the wonderful sense of touch. Touching a baby’s silky smooth skin. Touching the petal of a lily. Feeling the water flow over my skin in the shower. Holding someone’s hand and feeling a sense of security. Feeling someone’s loving arms around me. These things all bring beauty into my life, even during difficult times.
The same God who inspired Paul to write “All things work together for good” (Romans 8:28) also prompted Solomon to write “He has made all things beautiful in His time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). These promises assure us that great beauty can emerge from the most horrible of circumstances. It’s all because of the transformation that God is so good at performing.
So take time today to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Are your senses open to all that He wants you to experience?