Originally Posted July 28, 2020
I just finished reading the “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” to some of my grandchildren on ZOOM. The book ends with some beautiful depictions of “Aslan’s world”… really a description of what heaven must be like. Lewis does a great job of presenting some imaginary, but magnificent scenes.
It brought back a memory from my past… the first time I went to a professional baseball game. It was at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. While the park was pretty famous …. in fact Babe Ruth hit three home runs there in Game 4 of the 1926 World Series… what hit me as I walked in as a 10 year old was how beautiful the grass was…so green, the baselines perfectly drawn, with the white color contrasting with the green grass… I was in awe…I just looked and looked. It was beautiful.
What is beauty ? One source described beauty as “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight…. Confucius said of beauty: “Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it…. Plato implied that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
So, how do you judge beauty? Is beauty objective or subjective? I think that’s a tough question. Did you ever see a house painted a bright chartreuse color (green & yellow blend) …I think wow, who painted that …. does someone like that color?!?!? I guess they do. I may think the 1955 Chevy was the most beautiful car… you may propose the the 1965 VW Beetle…who’s right… probably neither of us in this case.
While it’s clear that I’m over my head in this discussion, I do know that beauty can be captivating… when you see something that in your mind at least is beautiful, it gets your attention…it elicits a “WOW”. I remember my mother exclaiming, “LOOK AT THAT SUNSET”… it is so beautiful…”how can anyone not believe in God while looking at that sunset”. It captivated her. Looking at the fall foliage with the morning sun shining on the leaves is a WOW. Often when I see the beauty of nature, I am drawn to God.
But does God give us a clue of what he thinks about beauty? Well, it seems like the Lord is more interested in “inward” beauty” that “outward beauty”. It says in Proverbs that “ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov 31:30). In first Peter, we read that “the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is in God’s sight very precious.” (1Peter 3:4) In talking about David in the Old Testament, Samuel says “man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1Sam.16:7)
There is a true beauty when you see a holy person…Mother Theresa was truly beautiful. So as the psalmist longs to gaze on the beauty of the Lord (Ps.27:4), may we also look for the beauty of the Lord in one another. It is truly captivating and can draw us closer to our Lord. I thank God I know a lot of beautiful people.