Beauty – how do you define it? It’s a hard task, isn’t it? Beauty is much more than just loveliness. In some ways, I think, we can intuitively sense beauty is something other-worldly or heavenly. Maybe a better question would be: how does encountering beauty make you feel? Or what or who does beauty remind you of? These questions would lead you more towards the source of beauty.
In the matters of beauty I’ve been inspired by Steve DeWitt’s great book Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything. He points out that in essence, God is the source of all beauty and goodness. DeWitt states, “Beauty boomerangs from God into created beauty, then through the senses and soul of the image-bearer, and finally back to God with praise and glory.”
For from Him [all things originate] and through Him [all things live and exist] and to Him are all things [directed]. To Him be glory and honor forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36, AMP,*)
DeWitt paints with his words a beautiful picture of God’s perfect beauty: “God’s beauty is the bouquet of His perfections in His person, unveiled in His purposes, and displayed in His glory.” God’s beauty is indeed so much more we can imagine. God’s beauty is him, his holiness, his loving-kindness surrounding us. Whenever we encounter beauty in any form, it reminds us of the source of all beauty.
I find DeWitt’s idea of nature as God’s self-portrait intriguing. Through nature, God helps us to get to know him. “It [nature] is not God, since God transcends what He has created, but it reveals in physical form what He is like spiritually. God creates beauty so we can know what He is like. Since He is and always has been glorious and beautiful, creation reflects this with seeable, tastable, touchable, hearable, and smellable reflections of His glory and beauty.”
“Holy, holy, holy is the LordAlmighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
(Isaiah 6:3, NIV,*)
DeWitt states God created beauty to give us the experience of wonder and ultimately to worship. Hence, he writes “Beauty is both a gift and a map. It is a gift to be enjoyed and a map to be followed back to the source of the beauty with praise and thanksgiving.” And that’s what we should do whenever we encounter beauty anywhere. We should give thanks and praise to God for providing and creating it but also for our pleasure in experiencing it.
God is an awesome father who gives to his children in so many ways, beauty being one of them. And there’s beauty even in brokenness. So let’s keep our eyes open for his glory, for his beauty in all forms. And let’s ask him to make us more like him. Holy and beautiful.
Thank you for blessing us
with your beauty and goodness.
Surround us with your radiant love
and inspiring beauty.
Open our eyes to see more of you
and get to know you better.
Make us more like you,
holy and beautiful.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How does beauty make you feel? Do you recognize God in beauty?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you look for God’s beauty around you!
* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].