United with Beauty

“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.”

C. S. Lewis

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In recent years – since I’ve owned my first smart phone – I’ve developed a habit. Whenever I take a walk I try to take a picture of at least one thing I find beautiful. I’ll admit that my pictures don’t always capture the full beauty of what I see, and sometimes I’m hard pressed to find something truly beautiful! But it has done a couple of things for me.

I am now more alert for something to take a picture of. And, I’m more aware of beauty. Especially things that don’t necessarily stand out.

It can be the sun shining through a bush,

A simple pastoral scene,

Or, an amazingly beautiful skyscape.

It has also caused me to contemplate the existence of beauty.

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Beauty is one of God’s fingerprints on creation.

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Beauty reminds me that God created some things just to be beautiful.

In some things beauty serves a purpose. A beautiful mallard duck’s colors attract the female duck. Colorful flowers attract bees for pollination.

But some things are beautiful just because God delights in their beauty. My Creator is a lover of beauty. Psalm 104.31 tells us “God will rejoice in His works.” God takes pleasure in His creation, and even if no human gets to enjoy it, He does. The beauty, wonder, intricacy, and glory of nature delights its Creator.

Beauty reminds me of the beauty of God

The invisible things of God are clearly seen through the visible things He made.

When I think of how the imperfect beauty of creation mirrors the perfect beauty of the Creator it moves me to worship in His presence, looking on the glory of His perfection . . .

“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4

And for His glory may radiate through me . . .

“Let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us.” Psalm 90:17

Beauty reminds me the perfect beauty of a restored creation.

God provides us with a description of the beauty of the new heaven and the new earth that we will one day enjoy with Him. The city is constructed from the most beautiful of stones, the street is of purest gold, and the river is lined with trees filled with fruit. It is clearly a place of unsurpassed beauty. When I see fallen beauty here it reminds me that I will enjoy perfect beauty there.

Beauty was designed by God to evoke wonder in the human soul. We feel it when we see the beauty of nature. But the created beauty can never satisfy the deep longing of the soul. That wonder can only be experienced by the beauty of its Creator.

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