April/May 2019 - Vol. 103
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walking towards a white
                                  shining cross

Can Beauty Change the World?.

Beauty incarnate draws us into the presence of God

I was sitting with a good friend of mine recently, updating each other on our lives and discussing our dreams for the future and our latest hobbies and passions. I shared about my recently rediscovered love of writing and she described her passion for painting. In the midst of our laughter, fun and heartfelt sharing, she looked at me and said what is probably one of the more profound things I have heard in a while. She said, “You know Maria, beauty will change the world!” It got me thinking, and you know what? I think she’s right!

Noticing true goodness and beauty
We live in a crazy world! A fast-paced, busy and incredibly loud world. It is so easy to go through each day and never really pause to appreciate the world around us. But what if we did? What if we stopped to notice the beautiful sunsets that are painted across the sky or to hear just how wonderful the sound of laughter can be? What if we took the time to appreciate the beauty of relationships, to recognize truly what a gift it is to have friends and family? What if we stopped to notice beauty?

I believe it would change us. It would change the way we look at our lives and approach our relationships. Just as you cannot sit in the sun for a prolonged period of time without being burned, you cannot sit and acknowledge the presence of something truly beautiful and not be moved!

Beauty incarnate draws us into the presence of God
There’s a reason that words like “breathtaking” are used to describe beautiful things, because beauty is meant to stir something within us. And perhaps, if we pause to acknowledge the beautiful sunset or be moved by another’s heartfelt and joyous laugh, we will begin to see and know the Hand that painted those smooth colors across the sky. Each beautiful scene or breathtaking moment is not simply an expression of His love (though it is indeed that) it is a glimpse of Him who is beauty incarnate, beauty Himself. Each expression of beauty is a moment of encounter, an opportunity to be drawn into the presence of God. There is nothing more worthy of pausing our busy, loud lives, if only second. It is worth taking time to notice.

Yes, I think my friend is right. If we allow it, true beauty incarnate will inevitably and undeniably change our hearts and changed hearts will change the whole world.


Maria

Maria is a sixth grade teacher in Columbus, Ohio. She grew up in a wonderful, faith-filled family and spent her college years living, growing and serving in a campus ministry organization called St. Paul's Outreach. It was in these years that she developed a passion for building community and bringing women freedom through powerful sisterhood. Maria enjoys being outdoors, is a frequent visitor to all of her city's metro parks and coffee shops, and loves anything that involves spending quality time with good friends, new friends and family.




This article first appeared in The Lovely Commission, a publishing venture and brand of Kairos North America. Used with permission.

The Lovely Commission is
run by Molly Kilpatrick and Mary Rose Jordan and a team of contributors from various Christian communities in North America and beyond. Together they are working to build a culture of radical love, femininity, modesty of heart, mind, and body amongst young women.

Their aim is to inspire and equip young women to embrace and promote a culture of Godly femininity in which we live out our rich identity as daughters of God and disciples of Jesus Christ.


Top illustration: woman walking towards a shining white cross, (c) by Kevin Carden
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