Our Pursuit of Beauty

The pursuit of beauty is a common theme in our world.  From the beauty that is advertised on the pages of almost every magazine to our very own homes and gardens, human beings desire to create or view beauty, whether it is in the mirror or in our surroundings.

I recently read a syndicated column in our local newspaper by Sharon Randall called “Where Will Beauty Find You?” (http://www.sharonrandall.com/).  In the article, Randall recounts spending her spring breaks with her grandmother, who taught her how to see beauty in everything.  In their hikes through the woods, collecting the best of the wild spring flowers, they would end up with briar pokes, chiggers, or the worst, ticks.  Her grandmother wisely advised her, “Beauty often comes with a price.  But you have to keep looking for it.”  As a result, Randall shares in the article how she has learned to look for beauty and to find it (or be found by it) in every season and situation of life.

Randall isn’t the first writer to think about the search for beauty.  C.S. Lewis also considers beauty in The Weight of Glory:

                We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough.  We want something else which can hardly be put into words – to  be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it,  to become part of it (42).

Lewis goes on to explain that our desire for beauty is because the Triune God is the source of that beauty, and so our yearning for beauty in our lives is really a yearning for God.  Conversely, the Father, Son, and Spirit bestow lavish beauty upon the world and the human beings around us, so that we may recognize their handiwork and loving presence, even in situations that might not seem beautiful at first.

According to columnist Sharon Randall, “Every place we look for it, beauty is blooming.”  As we look for the Father, Son, and Spirit in our lives, we will find evidences of beauty.  There may be briar pokes or chiggers or ticks as you embrace the beauty in your particular situation, but “you have to keep looking for it.” The beauty we’re looking for is ready and waiting to be found.

~by Nan Kuhlman

4 comments so far

  1. Jerome Ellard on

    Great post and a good reminder. I love Lewis’ writings on this that you quoted. I am reminded that “all good gifts come from God” and Jesus words “why do you call me good? There is only one who is good” (speaking of the Father as the source of all good that we see). I will shortly witness the presence of the beauty and the very goodness of God at the funeral of a friend’s stillborn (full term) son. I anticipate the presence of God’s own compassionate sorrow and loving embrace in the tears and arms of those that will surround the family.

    • Nan Kuhlman on

      Jerome,

      I’m saddened to hear about your friends’ loss of a child. This is a good example of a situation where nothing seems beautiful or right, but based on what we know of beauty and of God’s love, we (and your friends) can someday believe that all was perfect.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts,
      Nan

  2. Jeannine on

    Beautiful, Nan! Loved Lewis’ observation that our yearning for beauty and our desire to become one with it is a yearning for God. I’ve never thought of it that way – but I have absolutely experienced it. Sometimes a view can be so beautiful, my heart aches. Now I’ll know why! 🙂


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