Paul said, "The Greeks say,..." so I'll say, it's a well-known saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..."
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—"(Phil. 4: 7-9 NIV) . . . Keep reading there's a story here. Actually, that verse is the stuff of classic stories - add a healthy measure of conflict.
"One thing I ask of the LORD . . . that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple." (Psalm 27: 4 NIV)
But Isaiah 53: 2-3 (KJV) tells us "he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." Keep reading!
We read that "we're God's workmanship..." (Eph. 2:10) but someone is born blind or lame.
Beauty: a sunset... a child...the view from a mountain...a well landscaped garden...the arch in St. Louis...something functional and flawless (when it works) ...a very connected and mutually satisfying relationship...music - which kind? ...a special meal . . . the decor at a wedding, banquet, or house ... a person - on the inside, on the outside...someone's dress clothes, a hand- made wall hanging . . . handwork. . .a painting ... a poem...a novel. . .?
Just words or do they conjure up something beautiful for you? Something beautiful that you've experienced? Make your own list, or ask a child, "Show me something pretty. . ." or maybe beauty loses something when you try to define or confine it...
The story...One of my kids hates baby spiders especially when they're scurrying across the white ceiling over her bed. And for whatever reason they always pick her room, even when she changes rooms. But the other night, at my house, I watched a four year old girl holding a tiny spider with her face as close to it as she could get captivated as it stopped and scurried across her fingers - careful not to drop it.
I marvel at intricate spider webs glistening in the sunlight even when I walk through them first thing in the morning. One of the closing speakers at the conference last week read a truly beautiful piece she wrote about diverse people and strong, delicate webs between them.
Can you define beauty? I can't! And it's not just visual...
Notice, observe, listen, taste, touch, smell, experience, experience together. Share it with your children. You don't even have to talk.
Surely, there's an element of thankfulness and awe associated with beauty. When you experience something beautiful it will change you. . .
(c) 2005 Margie Hillenbrand