There is something in God's very nature that must express itself in beauty. We have noticed over the years, that often, when a culture adopts a godless philosophy, like communism or socialism, beauty begins to disappear from the culture of the people. Buildings and furniture and art become either more utilitarian or abstract, concrete becomes a choice replacing craftsmanship.
However, beauty is one of those attributes of God's world that hushes us in quiet admiration. Just the other day, when we went out walking, there was the largest double rainbow in the sky that I had ever seen. We had to stop and marvel and call Clay on the phone to be sure he had a chance to see it!
The snowy winter we've experienced means there's been a lot of nutrition sent deep into roots of trees and wildflowers, and we know why this state was named Colorado--the dark blues of the sky and the greens of the trees and grass and a proliferation of wild flowers are evident of a very colorful Artist who designed this colorful state.
Several years ago, we invited a group of mothers and daughters over for a tea in our home. Each person had to bring something they thought was beautiful and tell a story about it. One of the great ones was a beautiful stitchery that one of the mom's husbands had made for her when they were in high school! Then each mother read a quotation about beauty which had been slipped under their luncheon plate.
Finally, Sarah read a beautiful passage from The Secret Garden. When Colin, a boy crippled from birth, is wheeled into the secret garden that his two friends have been working on, he marvels breathlessly at the beauty of the garden; the roses, the robin, all the vibrant colors--and he says, "I know that now I can get well because of what I have beheld." Sarah then talked to the girls and moms about the intrinsic beauty that God has placed in their souls, meant to reflect Him in their lives, the way they live, the way they serve, the way they dress. That beauty is also a reminder that when we subdue and create an atmosphere of beauty and creativity in our homes, we were giving one more testimony of His reality in our lives.
The end was even better than the beginning of the tea, because she had made lemon cake with raspberry filling to serve everyone! She also gave each daughter a present: a real pearl necklace on a ribbon. Jesus, the Author of beauty, was considered the pearl of great price--the only One worth giving up everything for in order to purchase it.
What a wonderful memory, made by gathering friends and celebrating life together.
It took lots of planning and creativity to make this afternoon happen, but it was also a precious learning opportunity for my girls, and a memory we'll all share for years to come! What sort of gathering and celebrating might you create, in your own home?
An observation I have made again this season is that wherever there is a garden that is blooming beautifully or a meal that draws us to table, there is someone behind both that had to invest in planting a seed, tilling the ground, gathering the food, cooking, setting the table. Beauty comes about from someone who took the time to craft it, and the crafting adds dimension and pleasure to our lives, even as God did when He created the world in all its splendor.
How will you make the effort this summer to intentionally plant beauty and creativity through your life?